Eskimos Outlast TigerCats In CFL Barnburner

By Ross Everett

The Edmonton Eskimos showed a flair for the dramatic in Saturday night CFL action. Trailing 30-21 late in the fourth, Edmonton came all the way back to defeat the visiting Hamilton Tiger Cats 31-30. Noel Prefontaine kicked a clutch 48 yard field goal in the final minute to provide the margin of victory. Edmontons Jonte Buhl intercepted the football with 15 seconds left to put the win on ice. Edmonton improved to 5-3, while Hamilton dropped to 4-4.

Despite the exciting finish to the game, CFL bettors who backed the Eskimos were left holding losing tickets. Hamilton easily covered the spread as +7 road underdogs, improving to 5-3 against the number while Edmonton dropped to 3-5. The 61 points scored put the game OVER the posted total of 54. It was Hamiltons second straight OVER, but only their third of the season. Edmonton also has a 5-3 O/U tally.

The Eskimos Arkee Whitlock was the big catalyst on offense, scoring three touchdowns including an important one late in the game to cut the Edmonton deficit to three. Edmonton QB Ricky Ray also enjoyed a productive game with a touchdown and an interception.

Hamilton also put up good offensive numbers, though QB Kevin Glenn did throw two interceptions. Glenn finished with 326 yards on 22 of 39 passing with three touchdowns. The Ti-Cats running backs also fumbled the ball twice, giving the Esks a 4-1 turnover advantage that went a long way to determining the outcome of the game. Just as in US pro football, you can’t win football games if you put the ball on the ground.

Edmonton is now in sole possession of first place in the CFL West with a 5-3 record, two points ahead of Saskatchewan and Calgary. Hamilton is in second place in the CFL East, though are quickly losing sight of the leagues top team. The Montreal Alouettes are threatening to run away with the division, leading Hamilton by six points with a 7-1 mark. Making that margin even more impressive is the fact that the Alouettes were idle this weekend. Unless Montreal suffers an injury to key personnel, they may be hard to catch.

Both teams will be in action on September 7th, as each faces their provincial rival in a traditional Labour Day battle. Edmonton will play at Calgary, while Hamilton will host the Toronto Argonauts. Both sets of rivals will rematch at the others home field just four days later. These are among the most heated rivals in CFL football, and Labour Day games are a long running tradition in Canada.

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