Eskimos defence turns up the pressure; veteran linebacker Jones released

B.C. Lions quarterback Mike Reilly (13) is sacked by Edmonton Eskimos Nick Usher (75) during second half CFL action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

B.C. Lions quarterback Mike Reilly was sacked early and then, again, again and again in the Edmonton Eskimos’ 39-23 win on Friday night.

The Eskimos recorded seven quarterback sacks on Reilly, and five more sacks were called back because of penalties.

Listen below: The Edmonton Eskimos’ defence turned up the heat in a 39-23 win over the B..C Lions last Friday, recording seven quarterback sacks on Mike Reilly.

Defensive co-ordinator Phillip Lolley said even he was impressed by the performance of his defence and now the focus is on staying consistent.

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“You have to play that way on a consistent basis, and I’m not sure if anyone can play as well as we did in the final five or six minutes of the game,” he said. “We’re trying to be consistent with our play.

“We keep stressing [that] to win a championship, it’s a process and a weekly process.”

After being down 17-3, the Eskimos’ defence held the Lions to minus-two yards of offence.

The Eskimos trailed in first downs at one point by an 8-1 margin in the first half. The Eskimos recorded 26 first downs the rest of the way compared to eight first downs the rest of the way.

READ MORE: Reilly’s return to Edmonton spoiled as Eskimos beat Lions 39-23

The penalty number is one that jumps out: 165 yards after recording 118 yards in penalties during the opening week.

Eskimos head coach Jason Maas said because of a short training camp and two pre-season games, penalty numbers are usually high at the start of a season.

“At the beginning of the year, penalty numbers are always high and it so happens that in both of our games, we’ve lost the penalty battle,” Maas said. “Going into Winnipeg this week, we know this.

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“We better shape up because Winnipeg is known for not getting many penalties called against them so we’ve got to [do] better in that department.”

Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Eskimos’ 2019 season.

Eskimos release veteran Korey Jones

The Edmonton Eskimos on Monday announced a series of roster moves with the first being the release of veteran international linebacker Korey Jones, who spent the better part of three seasons with the Eskimos.

Jones recorded 60 defensive tackles over the last two seasons, including 47 in 2017 when he started 12 games at middle linebacker in place of J.C. Sherritt, who suffered a ruptured Achilles in the opening game of that season.

In 62 career games in the CFL, Jones has recorded 102 defensive tackles, 41 special teams tackles, three fumble recoveries, and two interceptions.

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The Eskimos on Monday added Canadian defensive lineman Mark Mackie from their practice roster to the active roster. Mackie played 12 games in 2018 for the Eskimos, recording four defensive tackles and one quarterback sack.

The Eskimos have added Canadian offensive lineman and eight-year CFL veteran J’Michael Deane to their practice roster.

The Eskimos visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Thursday night.

Kickoff from I.G. Field is at 6:30 p.m. and live coverage on 630 CHED will begin with Countdown to Kickoff at 5 p.m.

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