FOOTBALL: Reilly leads Eskimos over defending Grey Cup champs

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EDMONTON, Alberta — Almost eight months after the Ottawa Redblacks ended the Edmonton Eskimos’ 2016 season, the Eskimos finally got — and took advantage of — an opportunity for revenge.

Edmonton avenged its 35-23 loss in last year’s Eastern Division final with a 23-21 victory over the Redblacks, the defending Grey Cup champions, at home Friday night.

Mike Reilly, a 2003 Flathead High graduate, completed 27 of his 39 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown in the win, which sent the Eskimos to their first 3-0 start since 2014. They started 9-0 that season.

Edmonton is the only undefeated team remaining in the CFL.

Ottawa jumped out to a 9-0 lead early in the second quarter, but Edmonton scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17-9 lead into the locker room at halftime.

One of the Eskimos’ second-quarter scores came courtesy of Reilly, who connected with Adarius Bowman for a four-yard touchdown with three seconds left in the half.

The Edmonton offense struggled to get going in the second half, but Sean Whyte connected on two field goals and the defense did just enough to preserve the victory.

Reilly, the 2015 Grey Cup MVP, is once again among the league leaders in several passing categories through three games.

He ranks second in the CFL in passing efficiency and third in completion percentage and is among the top six in the league in completions and passing yards.

The Eskimos will look to extend their undefeated start Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

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