Eskimos clinch playoff spot with Saturday night win over Lions

Walter Tychnovwicz/CFL

Shaquille Cooper rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown to help the Edmonton Eskimos beat the B.C. Lions 19-6 on Saturday night and clinch the CFL’s last remaining playoff berth.

“As a pro football player your whole goal at the beginning of the year is to win a championship, that’s what you’re here for, you’re not here for anything else,” said Eskimos head coach Jason Maas after the game.


READ MORE: Eskimos take another crack at clinching a playoff spot when they host the Lions

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The Eskimos improved to 8-8 after winning for just the second time in their last seven outings, while the Lions drop to 5-11 after seeing their four-game win streak halted with B.C.’s first loss since Sept. 6.

With the loss, the Lions were officially eliminated from post-season contention.

“Everybody did a good job just really hunkering down and making sure that we made the plays we needed to, to punch our ticket in,” said Eskimos wide receiver Greg Ellingson.

LISTEN BELOW: Greg Ellingson

B.C. quarterback Mike Reilly, who leads the CFL in passing yards, left the game and did not return after being hurt early in the first quarter with what was revealed as a broken left wrist.

Danny O’Brien took over under centre for the veteran all-star, whose season is likely over. Reilly was the lone CFL quarterback to have made every start for his team this season.

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Edmonton opened the scoring on a 22-yard field goal from Sean Whyte with 8:59 remaining in the first quarter. On the ensuing possession,

Reilly was tackled by a pair of Eskimo defenders while attempting a pass, and immediately headed to the locker room where his injury was confirmed.

“Mike Reilly is a competitor and unfortunately he got hurt,” said Eskimos defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng. “It’s never the real intention, but ultimately it’s football.”

LISTEN BELOW: Kwaku Boateng

The Eskimos now have a bye week before returning to action on Oct. 26, hosting the Saskatchewan Roughriders, with the kick-off at 5 p.m. and the Countdown to Kick-off starting at 3:30 p.m. on 630 CHED.

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