Esks can't get that crucial win

In a game that would either put the Esks back into the playoff picture or show them to be a pretender who will eventually fall out of contention, the team came out and tried to feel their way into the game. Check out their opponent and test the opposing defense if you will. The only problem is that the Argos came out and punched the Esks in the mouth. They were determined to dictate the pace of the game and between the efforts of Cory Boyd and Chad Owens, the Argos did just that. The Eskimos, however, didn’t quit. they kept things close and worked out the kinks in their game. In the end, the Esks shot themselves in the foot by taking 9 penalties for 94 yards. Yes, some of the calls were a little questionable, but the fact remains that there was something there for the officials to call, and it’s not like the Esks didn’t get a few calls going their way throughout the game.

Quarter by Quarter

True to form, the Esks came out slow in the first quarter while the Argos were strong right out of the gate. The second quarter didn’t go quite as expected, with the Argos continuing to dictate the pace of the game and Toronto entered the half with a 19-7 advantage. The Esks responded, as they have all season by driving the field to start the third quarter where Arkee Whitlock pounded it in from the shadow of the uprights to pull the Esks to within five points. As the stats have shown, the Argos are vulnerable in the third quarter and the Esks continued to press the advantage. A huge run by Arkee Whitlock followed by a bomb to Jason Barnes in double coverage and just like that, the Esks took the lead. The Argos have been able to finish strong this year and Friday night was no exception as they came back in the game to win by one point. Unfortunately for the Esks, they gave a pretty predictable performance which did just enough to tease the fans, but not enough to win the game.

Boyd & Owens

In spite of being a fan of the Green & Gold, one has to sometimes be a football fan as well and any true football fan could easily appreciate the efforts given by Boyd and Owens for the Argos in Friday’s matchup. Owens had five receptions for 56 yards and returned kicks and punts for the Boatmen. Boyd meanwhile was outstanding carrying the ball for 164 yards and adding another 46 yards receiving. The talented running back also added three touchdowns and it would be surprising if his efforts didn’t garner him offensive player of the week honours.

The “Kee”

Give credit where credit is due. Esks colour commentator Dave Campbell wrote an article for Esks.com that talked about the importance of Arkee Whitlock to the team and how far he has come from last year’s debut against Montreal. To compete with the Argos, a team needs to have an answer for Cory Boyd. Whitlock certainly provided the answer. You can’t hang the loss on a guy who carried the ball 16 times for 147 yards and a touchdown. Whitlock was the one consistent threat for the Esks from start to finish and continues to impress despite the struggles of the team.

The Return Game

Skyler Green arrived in town last year and immediately became a fan favorite after having a couple of very impressive games to finish off the 2009 season. With Tristan Jackson on the sidelines, Green has become the de facto starter with Jamaica Rector coming in when Green was hampered by injury over the past couple of weeks. Green, however, has not produced through the first six games of the season. One punt return for six yards does not exactly help the team in the field position battle. It was interesting  to see that it was Kelly Campbell returning the kickoff from the final Toronto touchdown. One has to wonder if the Esks return man has become expendable.

Injuries

The Esks had to contend with their fair share of injuries in the game. Saleem Borhot aggravated his ankle. Rod Davis pulled up lame with a tight hamstring. Larry Birdine turned over on his ankle in the third quarter. Fred Stamps was favouring his shoulder and appeared to have suffered a dislocation. Despite the injuries, those who were forced to start in  replacement acquitted themselves well.

The Loss

It’s tough to acknowledge, but a third of the way through the 2010 season finds the Esks with a record that makes it look like the playoffs are a dream and the one can add the word “pipe” when thinking about appearing in the Grey Cup. It’s difficult to say where the Esks should go from here with the following four games going Calgary, Saskatchewan, Calgary, and Calgary. Four tough games where the Esks could realistically come out of the Labour Day rematch at 1-9. Tough to hear, but if something doesn’t change, it could become reality.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dk on August 7, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Gizzie, dude, i was at the game tonight, all happy with 4 min left because of our 28-22 lead. I thought to myself all we need is a INT and the game is ours. Sure as hell the opportunity rises, but no, somehow the ball landed in Copelands hands. Then 1 min remains, Jason Goss with the pick spoiled by a very very chintzy pass interference call… And again in our end zone evidently sealing our fate. I thought personally the penalties handed to us in the tail end of the game where brutal, but that’s just me.

    Reply

  2. @DK

    Although I have to agree that some of the calls at the end of the game were a little suspect, the Esks got away with a few very blatant calls earlier in the game. On Goss’s interception, the one not called back, the Esks were guilty of pass interference. It was very easy to see on the replays and the Esks should not have kept the ball. Ultimately the Esks just didn’t get it done. We can blame the refs all we want, but the team couldn’t fight through it.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Dk on August 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

    @ Gizzie

    Any condition on Freddy?

    Reply

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