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CFL - Burnett and Jyles spark Eskimos to a huge win over Roughriders
It appears as though the Edmonton Eskimos bye week could not have come at a better time. After struggling with consistency throughout the Esks first five games, quarterback Steven Jyles put together his best performance yet, leading Edmonton to a crucial 28-20 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in front of 43,178 at Commonwealth Stadium.
Edmonton - August 11, 2012 - It appears as though the Edmonton Eskimos bye week could not have come at a better time. After struggling with consistency throughout the Esks first five games, quarterback Steven Jyles put together his best performance yet, leading Edmonton to a crucial 28-20 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in front of 43,178 at Commonwealth Stadium.
While Jyles numbers, 18 out of 23 for 282 yards and a touchdown, look tiny compared to Darian Durant's 24/35 for 401 yards and two late interceptions, he was by far and away the better of the two quarterbacks on the night. He moved the offence effectively throughout and hit Cary Koch with a perfectly placed pass, for a thirty yard touchdown pass in the opening half.
Jyles completed passes to seven different targets and finally showed some chemistry with Fred Stamps, whom caught a season high seven balls on the night. Outside of a couple of drops from Greg Carr, Jyles missed three passes for the entire game...all three coming courtesy of a Riders blitz
Not surprisingly, it was a rather low scoring affair in the opening half but Edmonton looked to be headed to the half with a 10-3 lead, when Saskatchewan caught a huge break in the final minutes. With the Eskimos having looked like they had just succesfully broken up a Durrant pass attempt, the ball somehow bounced into the air off a cleat and through the hands of an Edmonton defender, into the waiting hands of Saskatchewan's Taj Smith. Smith broke a tackle and scampered 57 yards up field before being knocked out of bounds. It was shades of Winnipeg all over again.
A few plays later, backup QB Drew Willy punched it into the end zone on a quarterback sneak and just like that, the visitors were on level terms heading into the break. It was a tough pill for the Esks to swallow but the start of the second half would only get worse for the Green and Gold.
Early in the third quarter, defensive back Ronnie Prude crumbled to the turf, on what looked to be nothing more than your run of the mill football tackle. Problem being, he didn't get up and laid motionless for some time. The game was delayed for some time, as the medical staff attended to Prude, who would eventually be carted off the field on a stretcher and directly to the hospital with what looked to be an apparent neck injury.
According to TSN's Ryan Rishaug, Prude did have full feeling and movement in all his extremities but the Eskimos had no further update on his condition, as of this time.
After play resumed, both teams seemed rattled by the delay but the Roughriders adjusted far quicker, taking a 17-10 lead on a 27 yard touchdown run by Durant. To Edmonton's credit, the offence bounced back with a nice drive but had to settle for a field goal from Grant Shaw. Setting the table for more heroics from Joe Burnett.
The Canadian Football League's interception leader picked up a Weston Dressler fumble and returned it all the way for a 44 yard major, putting the Esks back in front 20-17. Burnett now has two touchdowns on the season, the other coming via a 108 yard interception return against the B.C.Lions during week four.
A Burke Dales single made it four a point game early in the final quarter but the Eskimos would put this one to bed midway through the fourth, courtesy of a couple of highlight reel grabs from Stamps. Which set the stage for a six yard bulldozing run from Calvin McCarty to secure the win.
Edmonton now sit atop the West Division with the Lions at 4-2 and a game up on both the Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders. Next up for the Green and Gold, will be a date with Anthony Calvillo and the Montreal Alouettes a week from Friday at Commonwealth Stadium. The Alouettes will be coming off their bye week and will be trying to hand the Eskimos their first home loss of the season.
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