Eskimos explode in 42-10 win over Blue Bombers
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - After managing just one point in a loss at Saskatchewan on Sunday, the Eskimos broke out for 35 points in the first half before holding on late to beat the Blue Bombers, 42-10.
With their offense sputtering, the Eskimos (2-1) needed all aspects of their game to come to play and they did on Friday as they got majors from their special teams, defense and offense en route to the victory.
Steven Jyles led the offense with 272 yards and one touchdown through the air on 15-of-27 passing. Backup Kerry Joseph was 3-of-3 for 102 yards and two touchdowns, including a 76-yard major to Hugh Charles, who finished with three catches for 145 yards.
Edmonton has now won three of the last four meetings between these teams.
Winnipeg (0-3) starting quarterback Buck Pierce left the game with a foot injury early and backup Alex Brink came on but had a forgettable performance.
He completed just 8-of-18 passes for 75 yards and an interception before a vicious hit on the first play of the fourth quarter forced third-stringer Joey Elliott into the game.
Elliott went 11-of-18 for 193 yards and a touchdown in relief, while Chris Matthews hauled in seven passes for 171 yards and one major for the Blue Bombers, who haven't held a lead in any of their three losses this season after appearing in the Grey Cup title game just a season ago.
Edmonton's special teams unit stepped up first by forcing a fumble on a punt return for the first score of the game.
Demond Washington received the punt for Winnipeg, but was stripped by Lee Robinson before Clint Kent scooped up the loose ball and took it 29 yards for the major.
Next it was the defense's turn as Donovan Alexander's interception later in the opening stanza set up a 43-yard field goal for Grant Shaw as the Eskimos grabbed a 10-0 lead.
The offense then came to life in the second as Jyles found Cary Koch for a 33- yard touchdown to extend the advantage to 17-0.
Edmonton's defense continued to force mistakes from the Blue Bombers as T.J. Hill picked off a Brink pass on Winnipeg's ensuing possession and took it 32 yards for the major and the rout was on.
Edmonton forced another Winnipeg turnover on its next possession, but managed only a single as Shaw missed a 44-yard field goal attempt to give the Eskimos a 25-0 lead.
Shaw then buried a 24-yard field goal later in the second to extend the lead before Edmonton drove the length of the field with under two minutes to play.
The big play of the drive was a 60-yard pass from Jyles to Charles before Joseph finished off the 97-yard drive with a four-yard pass to Shamawd Chambers to make it a 35-0 blowout heading into the locker room.
The Edmonton defense continued to stifle the Blue Bombers in the third, allowing the only score on a 44-yard field goal field goal from Justin Palardy.
Brink left the game early in the fourth quarter after sustaining a vicious hit and Elliott connected with Matthews on his first pass for a 72-yard touchdown to bring the Blue Bombers within 35-10.
Winnipeg then recovered Jyles' fumble on a sack, but Elliott was intercepted by Joe Burnett in the end zone to end the threat.
Charles then put the game away late in the fourth when he took a screen pass 77 yards for the major to give the Eskimos a 32-point lead.
Julius Williams and Marcus Howard from Edmonton and Len January from Winnipeg were all disqualified after a fight late in the third quarter...The Eskimos scored 25 points off of Winnipeg turnovers ...Both teams used all three quarterbacks on their rosters.