Rob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
CFL - Eskimos explode for 42 against the struggling Blue Bombers
After managing to score just one point in losing to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday night, the Edmonton Eskimos rebounded with authority. Destroying a road weary and depleted Winnipeg Blue Bombers side 42-10 at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night, in Week Three of the CFL.
Edmonton - July 14, 2012 - Coming off one of their worst offensive performances in club history, the Edmonton Eskimos had something to prove on Friday night at Commonwealth Stadium. After managing to score just one point in losing to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday night, the Esks rebounded with authority. Destroying a road weary and depleted Winnipeg Blue Bombers side 42-10.
Running back Hugh Charles led the onslaught with a 196 yards in total offence and a touchdown. While starting quarterback Steven Jyles bounced back from what had been a rough start to the season, throwing for 272 yards and recording his first touchdown pass of the year.
After a rather slow start from both teams, it would be the Esks Special Teams that would come up with the night's first big play. Bombers punt returner Demond Washington coughed up the ball on an attempted punt return, which linebacker Clint Kent recovered and returned for the games first major. It was a special moment for Kent, who was released by Winnipeg at the end of training camp, despite being a regular over the past two seasons with the Bombers.
Another turnover from the visitors would lead to an Eskimos field goal, making it 10-0 after the first quarter. That would also mark the end of Blue Bombers starter Buck Pierce, who left the game after injuring his left foot late in the quarter. Pierce has all the tools necessary to be a star quarterback in this league but his inability to stay on the field, has seen him become more of a hindrance than anything else for the struggling squad. Backup Alex Brink would be forced into to action but the move did little to light a fire under the Bombers.
Edmonton would put this one out of reach in the second quarter, exploding for twenty-five points and giving themselves a commanding 35-0 lead at half time. Jyles would connect with Cary Koch on a 33 yard touchdown strike to make it 17-0, which was quickly followed by a 32 yard interception return from linebacker T.J. Hill. Who were these guys wearing Eskimos uniforms? They couldn't possibly be the same team that looked downright awful less than a week ago.
Grant Shaw would make it a twenty-eight point lead, after going one for two on successive field goal attempts and rookie Canadian receiver Shamawd Chambers would close out a great opening half for the Green and Gold. Chambers plunged into the end zone for the touchdown, after a nifty little pass from Kerry Joseph from just four yards out. The major was the former Wilfrid Laurier graduate's first of his career and all but ended this one. Only in the CFL will you see a team go from scoring one point in their previous game, to putting up thirty- five in their next two quarters of play.
While the Bombers did put ten points on the board in the second half, it was all for not. After digging themselves as big a hole as one could imagine, this one was nothing more than a formality for the Esks, who improved their record to 2-0 on their home turf to start the season. The victory means Edmonton will be heading into Week Four action, in a tie for second place in the West. With the Roughriders and B.C. Lions set to do battle on Saturday afternoon, the loser will find themselves with the identical 2-1 mark the Eskimos currently own.
As for Winnipeg, they are now 0-3 to start the year and look to be headed for what could be a very long campaign. There was no shame in dropping their opening two games to the Lions and Montreal Alouettes, who are two of the best teams in the league, but to be destroyed by an Eskimos side that had scored all of twenty points in their first two outings, is a little alarming. Add to that the uncertainty of Pierce being able to return in time for next week's tilt in Toronto and it would surprise no one to see them sitting with an 0-4 mark before playing their first home game of the season.