Canadian Football League

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lions lose first Canadian Football League game of the season

The Edmonton Eskimos got out of a funk by knocking the B.C. Lions off their perch.
Tony Tompkins broke a tie game with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Eskimos swarmed quarterback Dave Dickenson and handed the Lions their first loss of the season, 37-20, Saturday night.
"They had a purpose," said Lions coach Wally Buono. "I don't sense we had much of a purpose.
"The psyche of the team was not what you want for this kind of game."
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The Eskimos (8-5) moved into second place in the CFL West a game up on surging Calgary and Saskatchewan.

The Lions had won their first 11 games and hadn't lost in the regular season since Oct. 11, 2004. The 1948 Calgary Stampeders, who were perfect during a 12-game schedule, are the only CFL team to go undefeated in the regular season. "Everybody wants to knock off the guy on top," said coach Danny Maciocia.
The usually disciplined Lions took six more penalties than Edmonton and had the ball almost 14 minutes longer.
They were in it even in the late going after Dickenson, who finished 21-of-33 for 364 yards, completed a 39-yard pass to Jerel Myers and rushed six yards straight up the middle in the fourth quarter before finding fullback Jason Gavadza for a four-yard score to tie it 20-20 at 6:15.
But Tompkins, a rookie, returned his first kickoff and scored 25 seconds later.
"Once I got my shoulder sqaure upfield, it was all she wrote,"' said Tompkins, 22. "We had to come back and play big."
Tailback Ron McClendon had two touchdowns and ageless rush end Joe Montford had two sacks for Edmonton.
Edmonton started early, with safety Kelly Wiltshire intercepting Dickenson's second pass of the game. Four plays later, McClendon ran the ball in from four yards.
McClendon also scored from 15 yards with less than two minutes to go to cap Edmonton's 17-point burst in the final quarter.
"We made them earn everything they got," said Eskimos linebacker Signor Mobley, who had five tackles and a seven-yard sack of Dickenson in the second quarter to lead to a conceded safety by kicker Duncan O'Mahony.
Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray was 26-of-30 for 260 yards, and found Jason Tucker for a 13-yard touchdown early in the second quarter for a 15-3 advantage.
Dickenson brought the Lions back by sidestepping Edmonton's steady rush to find Jason Clermont behind coverage for a 69-yard score in the second quarter as B.C. clawed to within 17-11 at the half.
Sean Fleming, the Eskimos 14-season veteran kicker who was a healthy scratch for three games, missed a 34-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter, but he got a standing ovation from some of the 48,048 at Commonwealth Stadium after makng a 21-yard chip shot in the third quarter.
"We haven't played a solid game all year,"said Fleming, 35, who added a a 13-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to put the game away. "We did tonight.
"We showed to ourselves how good we can be."
O'Mahony kicked a 17-yard field goal and had a 54-yard single in the second quarter for the Lions before skying a punt for a 69-yard single in the third.
Canadian tailback Dahrran Diedrick entered his first CFL game in the second half for Edmonton and the fomer Nebraska Cornhusker finiished with nine carries for 31 yards.
NOTES: Edmonton wide receiver Ed Hervey is a week away from returning from a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee . . . The Eskimos are at home against the Lions once more in the regular season, the second-last regular season game Oct. 28 . . . Children accompanied by a parent got a voucher for a free ticket.


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