Eskimos play some starters, beat inexperienced B.C. squad in pre-season opener

The Edmonton Eskimos won the opening pre-season game of the 2019 CFL campaign on Sunday, downing the visiting B.C. Lions 22-7.

The game was not televised but attendance was listed at a decent 23,549, aided by a sunny and warm day in the Alberta capital.

The Eskimos rolled out a veteran-laden line up for the home crowd, including new quarterback Trevor Harris who came over from Ottawa in the off-season. Harris went 8-for 12 for 50 yards on five drives in just over a quarter of play.

The Eskimos targetted 17 receivers on the day – there are no roster limits or ratio considerations during the pre-season – with 13 making catches. Don Unamba, another free agent acquisition, had an interception that set up the Esks’ first points as did Josh Johnson.

The man he replaced, B.C. quarterback Mike Reilly did not play for B.C. Instead, they started Ricky Lloyd with Cole Sears and Austin Apodaca also seeing action. Shakier Ryan had a 63-yard punt return touchdown for the Lions.

There was no scoring in the fourth quarter and there were 24 penalties in the game (there were 17 a game during the regular season in 2018.)

B.C. dressed two receivers from Mexico, Gerardo Alvarez and Fernando Richarte, but neither registered a catch. Edmonton’s Diego Jair Cotera – the first overall selection in Mexican draft –was targetted once but did not make a catch. He had one punt return for minus-2 yards. Defensive back Genaro Alfonsin had one tackle while French linebacker Maxime Rouyer had a special team tackle while also taking a holding penalty.

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