Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly didn’t intend to let another close game slip away against Toronto.
Reilly completed a pair of touchdown passes as the Eskimos avenged a loss in Toronto last week, coming away with a narrow 16-15 victory over the Argonauts in the rainy rematch on Friday.
Reilly was good on 21-of-36 passing attempts for 258 yards, as the Eskimos improved to 3-2.
“I wouldn’t have cared if we won 100-99 or 1-0, we needed to get a win to get back on track,” Reilly said.
“Last week, we could have came away with the win, but they did enough to get the win and this week, we were the team that finished it.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Eskimos, though, as running back CJ Gable was knocked out of the game on a late helmet-to-helmet hit late in the fourth quarter. Argos defenceman lineman Dylan Wynn was handed a spearing penalty on the play that moved Edmonton downfield and allowed it to eventually run out the clock.
“I’m just thankful CJ’s OK,” said Eskimos head coach Jason Maas. “Once I saw his eyes open and he could kind of move around a little bit, it was a good feeling to see that.”
“He took a hard hit and we are all hoping that he will come out of it OK,” said Toronto head coach Marc Trestman. “It was good to see him get back on his feet.”
Toronto QB James Franklin was 26 for 36 for 296 yards, with one interception.
“We had opportunities to win and our guys are really disappointed,” Trestman said. “We didn’t make the plays when we needed to. But we had the opportunities. To hold a great, experienced offence to under 20 points two weeks in a row, that says a lot.”
After Reilly was picked off in the end zone by TJ Heath on his team’s opening drive, Toronto (1-3) responded with a 42-yard field goal by Ronnie Pfeffer.
Franklin returned the favour early in the second, throwing an interception on a third-down gamble to Chris Edwards on the Edmonton eight-yard line.
Edmonton finally got on the board with four minutes to play in the second quarter when Reilly completed a short pass to Jordan Robinson, who then turned on the jets and ran 30 yards for the touchdown.
The Eskimos added a punt single to lead 8-3 at the half.
Toronto only got a single out of a 30-yard missed Pfeffer field-goal attempt six minutes into the third quarter.
Edmonton extended its lead to 15-4 with three minutes left in the third when Reilly completed an 11-yard TD pass to Duke Williams.
The Argonauts closed the gap on the final play of the third with a three-yard TD run by James Wilder Jr., with Franklin adding a two-point convert pass to SJ Green to trail by three points.
The Esks got another punt single before Pfeffer was able to make it 16-15 with a 28-yard field goal that went off the uprights and in, but that was all Toronto could come up with.
“We talked about it all week, just finish,” Maas said. “No matter how it starts, no matter what goes on in between, just finish the game. And it was awesome to do that at the end of the game, to finish it out on offence.”
The Argos return home to face Winnipeg next Saturday. The Eskimos enter their bye week.
Notes: Newly-acquired Toronto defensive lineman Eric Striker dressed for the first time following his trade from Saskatchewan… Edmonton lost linebackers J.C. Sherritt and Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga to lower-body injuries in the game… The half-time show was performed by Grammy Award-winning rapper Ludacris.