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Title - Frederico Sanmartin
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Federico Sanmartin is the Edmonton Eskimos' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Federico was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Eskimos blog - Green and Gold Yardstick. He is an avid follower of both the CFL and his hometown Eskimos. Having followed the game closely for over two decades, you can contact him at fsanmartin@ourhometown.ca as he prepares to follow the Esks en route to the centennial Grey Cup match in Toronto.
CFL - Esks Leave Argos Feeling Blue
Federico Sanmartin
OurHometown.ca

CFL - Esks Leave Argos Feeling Blue
Amidst all the talk about former players facing each other for either the first or second time this season, one former Argo quietly came into the game to win it for the Green and Gold. QB Kerry Joseph came off the bench for an injured Steven Jyles to guide the team to a 26-17 victory over the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre Monday night.
PHOTO CREDIT - EdmontonEskimos.com

Edmonton - Aug. 28, 2012 - Amidst all the talk about former players facing each other for either the first or second time this season, one former Argo quietly came into the game to win it for the Green and Gold. QB Kerry Joseph came off the bench for an injured Steven Jyles to guide the team to a 26-17 victory over the Toronto Argonauts at Rogers Centre Monday night.

While the line wasn’t overly impressive (169 yards passing and two interceptions) the one-time Argo, who endured two disastrous seasons in Double Blue from 2008-2009, made the big plays when he needed to. With Jyles leaving the game after an apparent knee injury in the first quarter, Joseph led the way for the Eskimos’ first major on a one-yard scamper. Joseph’s first pass attempt resulted in a 49-yard pass interference penalty on Argos’ defensive back Ahmad Carroll. The play launched the Esks to an early 10-0 lead.

Meanwhile after being torched by the Alouettes a week ago, the Esks’ defence led the way in the first half with two interceptions of Ricky Ray passes in helping build a 16-3 halftime lead. Linebacker JC Sherritt in particular had a spectacular night with a game-high 12 tackles and one of the interceptions. Sherritt is currently on pace to break the record for most tackles in a season with well over 150.

In typical Ray fashion, the former Esks QB led a comeback of sorts leading two scoring drives in the third quarter allowing the boatmen to close the gap to 19-17, including a 15-yard TD pass to receiver Dontrelle Inman. The latter drive came on the final play of the quarter following an ill advised Joseph throw that Carroll intercepted. A third and one resulted in a 34-yard scoring run by Argos running back Chad Kackert. In what was to be the battle of former running back teammates, neither Kackert nor Eskimos running back Cory Boyd made a significant impact on the game. Boyd was returning for the first time after being released by the Argos two short weeks ago. He finished with 45 yards on nine carries.

Typical of his evening Joseph marched the Esks right back early in the fourth quarter connecting with wide receiver Fred Stamps on a 44-yard highlight reel one handed grab. The drive would end with a 10-yard Hugh Charles TD run the very next play followed by Charles’ trademark back flip. Indeed it was the Eskimos overall rushing attack that made the difference. Joseph, Charles and Boyd combined for 156 yards along the ground and two touchdowns.

With the Argos threatening to once again cut into the nine-point deficit late, the defence once again came up big sacking Ray on two consecutive plays and forcing the boatmen to try a Swayze Waters field goal that would miss the mark. In what could have been a big mistake, Esks rookie sensation Joe Burnett ran the missed attempt out to the six-yard line rather than conceding the single. Head Coach Kavis Reed publicly blasted the young player for his mistake.

Joseph, however, would calmly cement the victory driving the Eskimos from the shadows of their own goal posts leading them to four critical first downs, including a 12-yard scamper of his own running down the clock and effectively putting the game out of reach.

Lost in the hoopla was another very impressive performance by Esks kicker Grant Shaw (the throw-in in the Ray trade) as he connected on four of five field goals including a season-high 50-yarder. On the other end, it was another forgettable evening for Ray who passed for only 251 yards and two costly interceptions resulting in ten Esks points. Barring a meeting in the title game in November, Ray will now need to wait until next season for another shot at beating his former team.

While not immediately knowing the severity of Jyles’ injury, he is expected to be ready for the Labour Day Classic in Calgary. However, one wonders if Reed is having thoughts about starting his super sub. Quarterback controversies are avoided like the plague in football circles. Another performance like this may very well kick start one in the Alberta capital.


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