Watching a pre-season football game is alot like one of those awkward business mixers where everyone’s wearing a “Hi. My Name Is” sticker. At the end of the night you know you’ve met a bunch of people, but can’t remember a single name.
Somewhere under a thick blanket of penalty flags was a game on Saturday night between the Eskimos and Riders in the epicentre of Oil Country, Ft. McMurray, Alberta.
In between the shanked punts, missed tackles, dropped passes and general sloppiness, Esks Head Coach Chris Jones can feel a certain level of comfort that the “damn the torpedoes” defensive philosophy of last season has carried over to 2015.
When Jones and Co. look at the film they’ll no doubt be pleased with what they saw from the towering (6’6″) defensive end Willie Jefferson who cut a swath through a ‘Rider front unit for a pair of sacks, a pass knockdown and three tackles.
Rookie linebacker Adam Konar appears just once on the game sheet but the Esks rookie linebacker showed a real willingess and ability to deliver heavy hits just as his dad, Kevin, did for the BC Lions many years ago.
Based on his CFL debut Esks fans are allowed to get a bit giddy over the performance of QB James Franklin. The rookie out of Missouri showed an uncommon level of poise in going 10 for 17 and 159 yard passing.
The star of the night in Ft. Mac had to be the intimate surroundings of STS Equipment Stadium and the green and gold northern lights show in the end zone.