Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Redblacks to Get Their First Look at Eskimos Quarterback Reilly in Grey Cup

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Redblacks to Get Their First Look at Eskimos Quarterback Reilly in Grey Cup

Article excerpt

Ottawa to get first look at Reilly in Cup


Mike Reilly and the Edmonton Eskimos head into the Grey Cup on quite a roll.

Edmonton chalked up its ninth straight win Sunday with a 45-31 victory over the Calgary Stampeders in the West Division final. That earned the Eskimos a berth in the CFL championship game against the Ottawa Redblacks, who beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 35-28 in the East Division title game.

Ottawa comes into the Grey Cup having won five straight but had its trouble this season against Edmonton. The Eskimos swept the season series 2-0, outscoring the Redblacks 69-29 although one victory was by a 46-17 margin and both contests were played in July.

Ottawa will see Reilly on Sunday for the first time this season. Backup Matt Nichols got both previous starts versus the Redblacks as Reilly was sidelined with a knee injury suffered in Edmonton's season-opening loss to Toronto in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Edmonton weathered the storm during Reilly's absence, posting a 6-3 record following their starter's injury. In fact, the Eskimos' first two wins of the season came in sweeping the home-and-home series with Ottawa.

But Edmonton has been unbeatable since Reilly's return as the starter in September. That includes two pivotal victories against Calgary that gave the Eskimos the season series and ultimately tops in the West Division after both teams finished with identical league-best 14-4 records.

Reilly has enjoyed another solid CFL season, completing 214-of-329 passes (65 per cent) for 2,449 yards with 15 TDs and 10 interceptions. Reilly also ran for 324 yards on 66 carries (4.9-yard average) and scored two TDs.

Reilly was impressive Sunday versus the defending-champion Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium. He completed 31-of-39 passes for 370 yards and three TDs while also running for 30 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.

Edmonton was pretty good away from Alberta, finishing tied with Calgary for the CFL's best road record (6-3). The Eskimos and Stampeders also had identical 6-2 records in head-to-head matchups versus East Division competition. …

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