EDMONTON -- Steven Jyles stole the spotlight from Ricky Ray in his return to Edmonton, as the Eskimos hung on to a 19-15 win over the Toronto Argonauts Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium.
Jyles completed 21 of his 36 passes for 236 yards, while Ray completed 31 of his 41 attempts for one touchdown and 302 yards.
In Ray’s first drive from scrimmage, the 32-year old quarterback connected on his first pass, a 15-yard toss to slotback Chad Owens. However, the drive would eventually stall two plays later, forcing punter Noel Prefontaine to kick his first punt of the new season.
Much like his counterpart, Jyles completed his first pass as well, an 11-yarder to Greg Carr.
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However, the Eskimos were also unable to generate much traction on their opening possession, giving way to Burke Dales to make his first punt in an Eskimos uniform.
Edmonton would open the scoring on their next drive, with Grant Shaw connecting on a 44-yard field goal with just over eight-minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Shaw’s field goal capped off a six-play, 15-yard drive that began with excellent field position due to an errant punt by Prefontaine.
Toronto’s offensive woes would continue in the first quarter, as veteran running back Jeff Johnson fumbled on the first play of their ensuing possession, with the ball being recovered by Esks defensive back Rod Williams.
The turnover would prove to be costly for the Boatmen, as Shaw connected on his second field goal of the quarter, increasing Edmonton’s lead to six.
In the second quarter, the Eskimos offence would begin to generate some traction both on the ground and through the air.
Jyles, alongside his tailbacks Charles and Calvin McCarty would put together a string of second-down conversions.
However, it was a 38-yard reception by Adarius Bowman, followed immediately by a 14-yard pass to sophomore Nate Coehoorn that would swing momentum in the Green and Gold’s favour, as they marched into the red zone for the first time.
Two plays later, Charles would punch in his first touchdown of the season, giving Edmonton a 13-0 lead.
With less than three minutes remaining, the Argonauts offence would finally begin to gel.
Ray would complete consecutive passes to Jason Barnes and Owens, with the latter taking it 52 yards downfield into the Edmonton red zone.
On the very next play, Ray would complete a five-yard pass to tailback Cory Boyd, cutting Edmonton’s lead to six.
The score capped off a seven-play, 82-yard drive by the Argos.