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Ray helps Eskimos down Bombers

Oct 16, 2011 - 3:19 AM
Edmonton, AB (Sports Network) - Ricky Ray threw for a pair of touchdowns, and Edmonton moved into sole possession of first place in the West Division with a 24-10 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Jerome Messam added a rushing score for the Eskimos (9-6), who are a half-game ahead of British Columbia, which plays at Saskatchewan Sunday afternoon. Ray finished 20-of-29 for 220 yards and was sacked four times.

"We got some big plays on our passing game, our running game we got some good plays," Ray said. "Our defense played tremendous again, they've been on fire these last few weeks, so just all in all it was a good team win."

Edmonton's defense sacked Buck Pierce five times and had three interceptions, including one by Weldon Brown in the end zone late in the final quarter that sealed the outcome.

"We've been talking about it all week," Messam said of beating the Blue Bombers. "These guys started our whole losing streak and ended our five-game win streak, so we wanted to come out and pay them back. Good night to everyone in Swaggerville."

Pierce ended 19-of-33 for 143 yards in the contest between playoff-bound clubs.

"We weren't very consistent offensively and most of that falls on me," Pierce said. "We just didn't play our best ball and when you're flat on the road that's what happens to you."

Chris Garrett had 89 yards rushing and for the Blue Bombers (9-6), who are a half-game behind Montreal for first in the East. The Alouettes host Hamilton on Sunday.

Messam scored on a nine-yard run to cap an 88-yard drive in the first quarter, but the Blue Bombers turned an interception by Jonathan Hefney into a Justin Palardy 11-yard field goal near the conclusion of the quarter.

Damon Duval missed a field goal try late in the second quarter for the Eskimos, but Edmonton extended to a 14-3 lead by halftime thanks to Ray's 18- yard TD pass to Jason Barnes.

Duval was off the mark on another kick early in the third, and the Blue Bombers got within 14-10 on Alex Brink's one-yard TD run.

Ray found Fred Stamps for a 12-yard score in the final minute of the third quarter and Duval made a 39-yard kick late in the fourth. With under six minutes left, Brown made a diving interception to thwart a potential Winnipeg touchdown.

Game Notes

Winnipeg linebacker Odell Willis injured his right leg in the third quarter... Blue Bombers slotback Clarence Denmark sustained an upper body injury in the second quarter, while linebacker Clint Kent suffered a neck injury...The Eskimos allowed a touchdown for the first time in six quarters...Edmonton 8-0 when leading after three quarters...The Eskimos are riding a four-game winning streak against the Bombers at Commonwealth Stadium and are 9-1-1 in their last 11 at home vs. Winnipeg.