Defense comes up big in Riders 30-27 win over Edmonton

Riders now 7-1 on the season
Reported by Joel Gasson
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In a game filled with offense, at least in the second half, it was ultimately the defense that made the difference in the Riders 30-27 win over the Edmonton Eskimos.

The game certainly didn't get off to the torrid start we'd see later in the game, as the defenses dominated much of the first half. Neither side got much going offensively outside of a Mike Reilly touchdown pass to Fred Stamps. Other than that both sides traded field goals, and the Green and White had a 12-10 lead after 30 minutes of play. 

Of those field goals, five of them came off the foot of Chris Milo who is still perfect on the season, kicking 21 straight field goals. 

The second half would be a completely different story however, as eventually the flood gates open. Milo again made it 15-10.

After that Edmonton responded with Fred Stamps second touchdown of the game taking a 17-15 lead. It didn't last long though as Kory Sheets would score his first touchdown since the Riders win in Edmonton as the Riders regained the lead 22-17.

The Eskimos, however, respond on their next possession as Reilly would put together another drive that ends in the hands of Cory Koch for a touchdown giving Edmonton a 24-22 lead. 

The Riders would then stall a bit, and the Eskimos would add another field goal growing the lead to 27-22. 

The pendulum would then swing the Riders way again as Darian Durant put together another drive ending in a Sheets touchdown run, the lead was once again the Riders, 29-27. 

For the second week in a row however, the defense made a play when they had to. As the Eskimos were at the two-yard-line, looking poised to score again, Dwight Anderson would intercept Mike Reilly in the end zone. The Riders would get a single on the ensuing drive and have a three point lead with two minutes left.

The defense did it again after that, as Weldon Brown would hammer Reilly, a theme of the day, with just over a minute left causing a fumble, and the Riders would recover and close out the game from there.

Even though Durant didn't throw for a touchdown, he quietly put together a great come back performance this week, as he was 24 for 30, and 334 yards. Durant once again didn't throw an interception. Sheets got his game back on track running for 139 yards and two touchdowns. The air attack was pretty even, Chris Getzlaf had five catches for 90 yards, Weston Dressler with give catches for 89 yards and Taj Smith had six catches for 80 yards. 

Defensively Rey Williams had eight tackles, Anderson and Tyron Brackenridge both had an interception. Brown, Jermain McElveen and Keith Shologan each had a sack. 

The Riders win moves them to 7-1 on the season, they host the 1-7 Winnipeg Blue Bombers next Sunday in the Labour Day Classic.