For a football team, the goal is to be playing your best brand of football at the end of the season. The first order of business in attaining that goal is to win games.
The Edmonton Eskimos have been stringing wins together over the last few weeks and will look for a fourth straight win on Thursday night when they visit the B.C. Lions from B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver.
After a 2-2 start, the Eskimos have won their last three games to sit with a 5-2 record and in sole possession of second place in the Western Division. Head coach Jason Maas said his team is still searching for more consistency but the results have been positive.
“It feels good but ultimately consistency is what you want,” Maas said.
“We haven’t quite gotten there yet but we are playing good football and have made enough plays in the last three games to win them and any time you can win three games in a row in any league I think it’s good.”
The Eskimos haven’t lost many games dating back to last season following a six-game losing streak. The Eskimos are 10-2 in their last 12 games, they finished the 2017 regular season winning their final five games.
The Eskimos have won all five of their games after trailing at some point in the game including last week’s 26-19 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
READ MORE: Eskimos outplay Roughriders 26-19
Quarterback Mike Reilly and the offence struggled for much of the game but it didn’t stop Reilly from recording his 21st career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Eskimos have been on a nice roll as well. In their last five games, the Eskimos have given up an average of 20 points per game.
Listen Below: Head coach Jason Maas says the Eskimos defence has improved every week
The Eskimos will welcome back defensive back Forrest Hightower, defensive lineman Mike Moore and receiver/returner Jamill Smith to their 46-man roster. All have been activated off the six-game injured list. Also returning to his familiar centre spot on the offensive line is Justin Sorensen. Defensive back Godfrey Onyeka is back after missing the last three games.
The most notable player moving off the 46-man roster is safety Neil King, who has been placed on the six-game injured list. King has 16 defensive tackles and one interception this season.
Running back Jordan Robinson, defensive back Money Hunter and linebacker Jeremiah Kose have been moved to the team’s practice roster. Defensive lineman Gerald Rivers was released on Tuesday.
The following is the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Eskimos:
Quarterback: Mike Reilly
Running Back: C.J. Gable (Fullback: Calvin McCarty)
Offensive Line: Matt O’Donnell-Travis Bond-Justin Sorensen-David Beard-Colin Kelly
Receivers: Derel Walker-Duke Williams-Natey Adjei-Nate Behar-Kenny Stafford
Defensive Line: Kwaku Boateng-Almondo Sewell-Jake Ceresna-Alex Bazzie
Linebackers: Korey Jones-J.C. Sherritt-Chris Edwards
Defensive Backs: Mercy Maston-Aaron Grymes-Josh Woodman-Forrest Hightower-Nick Taylor
The B.C. Lions have lost their last two games, including a 27-18 set-back to the Stampeders last Saturday in Calgary. The Lions are 2-4 and in last place in the West. Quarterback Travis Lulay will make his fourth straight start of the season and is averaging 311 passing yards per game winning just one of their last four games. The Lions were 5-2 at this point last season but have just won four of their last 17 games.
The Eskimos beat the Lions 41-22 back on June 29 in Edmonton. The Eskimos have won the last four meetings against the Lions.
You can hear live coverage of Thursday’s game between the Eskimos and Lions on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kick-off at 6 p.m. The opening kick-off from B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver is at 8 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action. Plus, hear analysis from former Eskimos offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott.
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