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Eskimos look to build on positive start to the season when they visit the Alouettes

Edmonton Eskimos Greg Ellingson (82) and Kenny Stafford (8) celebrate a touchdown against the Montreal Alouettes during first half CFL action in Edmonton on Friday June 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Starting a season strong hasn’t been overly difficult for the Edmonton Eskimos over the last three seasons. The green and gold are off to a 3-1 start to the 2019 CFL season and will look to keep building off that start Saturday afternoon in Montreal as they battle the Alouettes.

Since the start of the 2017 season, the Eskimos have compiled a record of 12-3. This season the Eskimos have started strong on both sides of the football.

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos defence living up to design

The Eskimos lead the CFL in average net yards per game with 451, while also leading in average net yards allowed per game with 222. The Eskimos are second in the CFL in quarterback sacks with 16, with defensive tackle Mike Moore leading the team with three sacks.

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All 10 different defensive players have recorded at least one sack.

Quarterback Trevor Harris continued his strong start to his season by passing for 276 yards and two touchdowns in the Eskimos 33-6 win over the B.C. Lions last Thursday in Vancouver.

READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos dominate B.C. Lions in 33-6 win

Harris is second in the CFL coming into Week 6 in passing with 1.362 yards. He leads the CFL in average passing yards per game with 340.5 yards. Harris has thrown eight touchdown passes to zero interceptions and has been sacked just once.

Head coach Jason Maas is very impressed with Harris’ ball security and how the offence has kept him clean.

“They’re both impressive,” he said. “The one sack allowed is a team effort type thing and I know Trevor is making good decisions out there with no picks so both are equally as impressive.

“Obviously I prefer our quarterback not to get hit, so I think sticking with the least amount of sacks would be ideal.”

READ MORE: Harris a full-participant during Eskimos practice on Tuesday

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The Eskimos suffered a big loss along their offensive line last week as right guard Matt O’Donnell left in the second quarter of last week’s game against the Lions with a lower-body injury.

O’Donnell is now on the six-game injured list.

Rookie and second round draft pick from this year’s CFL Draft Kyle Saxelid will make his first CFL start at right guard. He filled in for O’Donnell last week after he left the game.

LISTEN BELOW: Eskimos head coach Jason Maas on the progression of OL Kyle Saxelid who will start at right guard in place of the injured Matt O’Donnell.

J’Michael Deane has been placed on the active roster and will make his Eskimos debut as the sixth offensive lineman.

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The following is the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Eskimos:

Offence

Quarterback: Trevor Harris

Running Back: C.J. Gable (Fullback: Calvin McCarty)

Offensive Line: Tommie Draheim – Jacob Ruby – David Beard – Kyle Saxelid – Colin Kelly

Receivers: DaVaris Daniels – Ricky Collins Jr. – Natey Adjei – Greg Ellingson – Kenny Stafford

Defence

Defensive Line: Kwaku Boateng – Almondo Sewell – Mike Moore – Nick Usher

Linebackers: Vontae Diggs – Larry Dean – Brian Walker

Defensive Backs: Josh Johnson -Tyquwan Glass – Jordan Hoover – Forrest Hightower – Arjen Colquhoun.

After a 0-2 start, which included a 35-28 loss to the Eskimos on June 14 in Edmonton, the Montreal Alouettes have won two straight games to improve to 2-2 on the season.

Quarterback Vernon Adams has been overall consistent after filling in for opening day starter Antonio Pipkin in the season-opener. Adams is 5-2 as a starting quarterback and will look to give his team an above .500 record for the first time since the 2012 season.

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Running back William Stanback has recorded back-to-back 100 yard rushing games and leads the CFL in rushing with 457 yards. Eskimos running back C.J. Gable is second in the CFL in rushing with 415 yards.

LISTEN BELOW: Montreal Alouettes head coach Khari Jones speaks to the play of Vernon Adams over the last two games. Adams has career 5-2 record as an Alouettes starter.

The Eskimos have a personal 11-game winning streak over the Alouettes over the last five seasons.

You can catch Saturday’s game between the Eskimos and Alouettes on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kick-off at 12:30 p.m. The opening kick-off from Molson Stadium in Montreal is at 2 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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