Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Eskimos outdo Blue
Pile up fourth win of season vs. Roughriders in Regina
REGINA -- If Kerry Joseph's playing career is in fact over, he'll have many highlights to look back on -- the end of a 4-14 season among them.
Joseph, in his 11th year as a CFL quarterback, played the final 10 minutes Saturday as the Edmonton Eskimos ended their season with a 30-26 win over Joseph's former team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
"I can say if I don't ever put the uniform on again or lace another cleat up I won my last game," he said, his voice cracking and eyes moist. "Not everybody can say that. It wasn't a championship game but I can say I won my last one. And it's a lot of emotion."
Joseph finished two-for-three passing for 29 yards.
He acknowledged that his time in Edmonton as a player is "probably" over, and it had been widely speculated in the lead-up to the game that it would be his last in the CFL.
Joseph added that he will continue looking for opportunities to play over the next month but that he feels he has a lot to offer as a coach too if he decides to retire.
The last time Joseph wore a Roughriders uniform he was celebrating a win in the 2007 Grey Cup.
In the aftermath of Saturday's game, he was pondering the possibility of history repeating itself.
"This fanbase has been another home to me," said Joseph, who played two seasons for the Riders before unexpectedly being traded to Toronto before the 2008 season and eventually moving on to Edmonton. "They've been great to me all the way back to 2006 and from the time I first walked on the field here.
"This could be fitting to come back here."
The turning point for the Eskimos came when Jamal Miles returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown with barely a minute to play.
Saskatchewan punter Ricky Schmitt's kick drove Edmonton back to its own 31-yard line but Miles found a seam and sprinted down the sideline for the winning score.
On the Roughriders' previous drive, they were stuffed four times on first-and-goal and opted to settle for a field goal instead of trying once more for the end zone.
Edmonton (4-14) ended a difficult regular season by sending the Roughriders (11-7) into the playoffs on a two-game losing streak with the win.
The defeat also cost Saskatchewan its first 12-win season since 2008 as the Riders prepare to host the B.C. Lions in the CFL's West Division semifinal.
For Edmonton the win meant little more than avoiding a new benchmark for the second-worst season in franchise history.
"It's real hard to keep the guys hungry when you know what you already have next week," said Riders head coach Corey Chamblin. "I hate to use the word 'meaningless' because it's not ... but in total it was pretty hard to get the guys in the mindset of 'Hey, let's go do all-out."'
With both teams resting a number of starters, the game featured another characteristically slow start from the Roughriders, who trailed 10-0 before Chris Milo kicked a 23-yard field goal near the end of the first quarter.
Edmonton raced out to the early lead on a 25-yard field goal from Grant Shaw and a 56-yard interception return from middle linebacker Rennie Curran.
-- The Canadian Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 3, 2013 B11
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(1 of 5 articles for this week)07/24/2014 1:00 AM 0
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