REGINA — Arkee Whitlock’s 18-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the difference as the Edmonton Eskimos overcame a 22-0 deficit on Saturday to beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 38-33 at Mosaic Stadium.
Edmonton (2-2) managed just two first downs in the first 18 minutes of play before quarterback Ricky Ray engineered a 10-play 61-yard drive that culminated in a Prefontaine field goal to get the Eskimos on the board in the second quarter.
From there Edmonton took control through the end of the third quarter as Saskatchewan (2-2) managed only a Luca Congi field goal and was held at one point to four consecutive two-and-outs.
Calvin McCarty ran for two touchdowns and Tristan Jackson returned a punt 75 yards for another to spearhead the Edmonton comeback.
The Roughriders went back ahead 33-30 early in the fourth quarter on Chris Szarka’s one-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion to Andy Fantuz, but Edmonton was not to be denied.
Riders punter Jaime Boreham gave up a safety to make it 33-32 before Whitlock put Edmonton ahead for good on the next series.
Saskatchewan’s hopes of a comeback were dashed first when Steven Jyles was stopped short on a third-and-one attempt at the Eskimos’ 25-yard line, and again when starting quarterback Darian Durant’s pass to Weston Dressler was ruled incomplete on a third-and-four effort in the final minute of play.
McCarty led all rushers in the game with 76 yards on nine attempts.
Eskimos quarterback Ricky Ray finished the game 23-for-32 for 247 yards and the Eskimos’ offence, while Noel Prefontaine added three field goals and three converts.
Durant completed 20-of-36 passes, including a four-yard touchdown toss to Wes Cates to open the scoring, and ran for an 18-yard major himself.
Saskatchewan’s other points came from a 70-yard Lance Frazier interception return and a Boreham single in the first.