OTTAWA, ON – Ottawa REDBLACKS dropped a third consecutive single-score decision on Thursday night, falling 27-20 to the visiting Edmonton Eskimos on Canadian Armed Forces Night at TD Place.
Trevor Harris completed 26 of 37 passes for 267 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the defeat for Ottawa (1-6-1), while Mike Reilly went 27-for-38 for 384 yards and tossed a pair of touchdowns and interceptions en route to the seventh straight win for the undefeated Eskimos (7-0).
Beyond Reilly, running back LaDarius Perkins was the story for the visitors, racking up 106 all-purpose yards and scoring his first CFL touchdown.
Perkins opened the scoring for the Eskimos on the first possession of the game, racing to the end zone on a 35-yard catch and run that capped a methodical 10-play, 92-yard drive. Hugh O’Neill’s convert gave Edmonton a 7-0 lead.
The visitors made it 10-0 later in the quarter on a 20-yard O’Neill chip shot; the former Alberta Golden Bears kicker then made it 13-0 with a second-quarter kick from 38 yards out.
Ottawa got on the board one minute later, as Harris tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ellingson. Brett Maher’s convert cut the Edmonton lead to 13-7.
REDBLACKS return man Quincy McDuffie then brought the house down with a 92-yard touchdown return, but the major was brought back on an illegal-block penalty.
Maher and O’Neill traded field goals, and a further Maher field goal from 40 yards out on the final play of the first half sent the teams to the locker room with Edmonton holding a 16-13 lead.
O’Neill restored the six-point Eskimos lead with a 42-yard third-quarter field goal.
The REDBLACKS took their first lead of the night on the ensuing possession, as Harris found Diontae Spencer at the back of the end zone, and Maher’s convert gave the hosts a 20-19 lead.
The Ottawa defence then came up with a key stop inside the red zone; Sherrod Baltimore tipped what would have been a Vidal Hazelton touchdown into the waiting arms of linebacker Antoine Pruneau for a critical interception.
The offence couldn’t capitalize, however, and Reilly and company found the end zone with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter; the veteran pivot found Chris Getzlaf in the corner of the Ottawa end zone, and Reilly bounced out wide on the ensuing two-point convert to give the Esks a 27-20 lead.