After missing out on clinching a playoff spot last week, the Edmonton Eskimos will look to clinch again on Saturday afternoon when they host the B.C. Lions on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
It’s a tale of two teams going in opposite directions as they. The Eskimos have lost five of their last six games while the Lions have won four straight games.
The Eskimos still hold the inside track on a playoff spot with a 7-8 record and are four points up on the Lions who sit with a 5-10 record.
The Eskimos won the first two meetings against the Lions to capture the season-series earning a key tiebreaker if the two teams are tied in points at the end of the season.
Eskimos defensive tackle Almondo Sewell spoke about the importance of Saturday’s game.
“You have to treat it like a playoff game,” Sewell said. “Right now, we need momentum.”
Last week, the Eskimos failed in their first attempt to clinch a playoff spot by losing 42-12 on the road to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Eskimos quarterback Logan Kilgore passed for 233 yards, throwing for one touchdown to receiver Natey Adjei. Kilgore was intercepted twice.
The Eskimos’ defence allowed 429 yards of offence to the Tiger-Cats, including 178 rushing yards.
Kicker Sean Whyte was two for two on his field goal attempts. He has now hit successfully on his last 20 field goal attempts which is the longest streak in the CFL this season.
The Eskimos will be without two players from their lineup on offence for Saturday as running back C.J. Gable and receiver Tevaun Smith are out with injuries and have been placed on the one-game injured list.
The Eskimos’ Shaq Cooper will start at running back for the second time this season; he recorded 128 rushing yards, 48 receiving yards and scored one touchdown in a win over the Toronto Argonauts back on July 25 in Edmonton.
Listen below: Eskimos head coach Jason Maas speaks on the expected impact of Shaq Cooper and Jovan Santos-Knox.
Quarterback Troy Williams, fullback Peter Cender and receiver Diego Viamontes have been added to the active roster. Linebacker Maxime Rouyer has been placed on team’s practice roster.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Eskimos:
Quarterback: Logan Kilgore
Running Back: Shaq Cooper (Fullback: Calvin McCarty)
Offensive Line: Kyle Saxelid-Jacob Ruby-David Beard-Matt O’Donnell-Colin Kelly
Receivers: DaVaris Daniels-Ricky Collins Jr.-Natey Adjei-Greg Ellingson-Christion Jones
Defensive Line: Kwaku Boateng-Almondo Sewell-Mike Moore-Nick Usher
Linebackers: Jovan Santos-Knox-Larry Dean-Don Unamba
Defensive Backs: Tyquwan Glass-Money Hunter-Jordan Hoover-Brian Walker-Forrest Hightower
The Lions have erased a 1-10 start and are in a position to win five straight games for the first time since the 2011 season.
Over the last four games, quarterback Mike Reilly is averaging 306 passing yards per game and completing 79 per cent of his passes while throwing for 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Bryan Burnham leads the CFL in receiving with 1,300 yards and scoring 12 touchdowns. He has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth-straight season.
Listen below: Morley Scott talks with Lions quarterback Mike Reilly who says both teams are not the same since the last meeting in early-July.
You can hear Saturday’s game between the Eskimos and Lions on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff at 3:30 p.m. The opening kickoff on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium is at 5 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. Brenden Escott will be reporting from the Eskimos sidelines.