Eskimos fall under .500 as Ticats equal franchise record for wins in season

Photo Scott Grant /
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The last time the Edmonton Eskimos and Hamilton Tiger-Cats met two weeks ago the Eskimos erased a 24-point deficit only to lose 30-27 on a last-second field goal.

The Esks were looking at a similar situation on Friday night when they trailed by 16 points at the midpoint of the second quarter.

But this time around there wasn’t any late game drama as the Ticats’ defence held Edmonton to just one touchdown, walking away with a 42-12 win.

The Eskimos leaned on C.J. Gable in the game’s early stages, before the run game was put on the back-burner as the deficit grew. He would finish the game with 11 carries for 47 yards before leaving the game with a lower body injury.

Hamilton scored on its first drive of the game on a touchdown pass to Brandon Banks. The star receiver had another strong performance putting up 81 receiving yards on eight receptions.

A 30-yard punt return by Frankie Williams set the Ticats up in the red zone right away for the second scoring drive. Williams finished the game with almost 170 combined return yards and a game-high seven tackles. Jaelon Acklin snagged the score for his third touchdown of the year.

Both quarterbacks were fairly accurate in the opening 30 minutes. A bad read by Logan Kilgore was responsible for a Richard Leonard interception, just one of two first-half incompletions. Evans, meanwhile, almost had an 80 per cent completion rate. Leonard would later put the game entirely out of reach with a fourth-quarter pick-six.

Kilgore went 23-of-32 for 233 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He faced lots of pressure from Hamilton’s front seven and was sacked five times. Backup quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe finished the game for Edmonton once it was out of reach.

A two-for-one field goal trade in the third stretched the Ticats’ lead by three heading into the fourth.

A quick Eskimos’ drive led to the club’s only touchdown of the game, making it a two-score lead. Natey Adjei’s nine-yard grab cut the lead to 13. A disastrous two-point convert attempt cost Edmonton a timeout and resulted in another Kilgore interception.

But that’s as close as the game would get because Hamilton’s Tyrell Sutton helped settle things down the other way. He tore off two of his biggest runs on the next drive, which essentially ended the contest. It was his Sutton’s best game as a Tiger-Cat, finishing with 11 touches and 88 yards. David Watford capped off the drive with a touchdown on a QB sneak.

Evans finished the game 24-of-32 for 277 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns as he continues to improve in the absence of Jeremiah Masoli.

The Eskimos dropped to 7-8 and failed to clinch a playoff spot, while Hamilton improved to 12-3 – equaling a franchise record for wins in a season. The Eskimos are up against the B.C. Lions (4-10) next week with the Tiger-Cats heading into a bye.