Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Rookie QB James Franklin leads Eskimos to 38-15 win over Argonauts

Edmonton Eskimos quarterback James Franklin (14) and Adarius Bowman (4) celebrate a touchdown against the Toronto Argonauts during first half action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday August 28, 2015.

JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Edmonton Eskimos may have finally found a quarterback who can fill Mike Reilly's shoes until he returns from injury.

Rookie quarterback James Franklin threw a touchdown and ran in another as the Eskimos beat the Toronto Argonauts 38-15 on Friday.

The win moved the Eskimos (6-3) back into a first place tie in the CFL's West Division with the Calgary Stampeders. Edmonton was coming off a 49-20 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week.

Story continues below advertisement

"It's a win," said Franklin, who was making his first career CFL start. "The guys were doing a great job catching the ball and Kendial (Lawrence) did a pretty good job sparking us with that punt return. I was very fortunate things were going well on all sides of the ball in my first start. It definitely helped me out. It made me feel a lot more comfortable out there."

Eskimos coach Chris Jones said Franklin did everything required of him.

"I thought he did a real nice job getting us in and out of the huddle, getting our plays called and executing," said Jones. "When he had to get out and run, he did that in a good manner and protected the football.

"He's a good quarterback."

Toronto saw a three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-3 on the season.

The Argos have come from behind in every victory this season, including four wins where they trailed heading into the fourth quarter.

"We started bad, but battled back into it like we have most of the season and got to within two points," said Toronto head coach Scott Milanovich. "We have to own this loss just like we own the wins. I thought we got out-coached, outplayed on offence, defence and special teams. That's generally not a good combination."

Story continues below advertisement

Reilly, Edmonton's regular No. 1 quarterback, has been out since Week 1 after suffering a knee injury against Toronto. Franklin, starting in place of Matt Nichols, engineered a 92-yard opening drive before capping it off by eluding a tackle and scrambling 18 yards into the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.

Franklin hit Derel Walker with a 53-yard pass, setting up a 23-yard Grant Shaw field goal on Edmonton's next drive.

Toronto got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter, getting a single on a missed Swayze Waters field-goal attempt. The Eskimos responded with a punt single.

The Argos put together a late drive culminating in a one-yard TD plunge by backup quarterback Adrian McPherson to make it 11-8 at the half.

Edmonton started the third quarter with a 21-yard Shaw field goal.

Franklin completed a 62-yard pass to Walker midway through the third, resulting in another Shaw field goal and a 17-8 Eskimos lead.

Story continues below advertisement

Toronto closed the gap to two points late in the third quarter after a controversial pass interference call led to a one-yard touchdown pass from McPherson to Vidal Hazelton.

The Eskimos got a huge boost with just over 10 minutes to play when Lawrence exploded through coverage for a 65-yard punt return touchdown.

"That was certainly a turning point," said Milanovich. "We've been great on punt coverage all year. I'm not sure exactly what happened there."

Edmonton made it 31-15 with five minutes to play when Franklin found Walker for an eight-yard TD pass.

The Esks put the game away for good when Aaron Grymes picked off a Trevor Harris pass and took it back 54 yards, setting up a nine-yard quarterback keep by third-stringer Jordan Lynch.

Both teams are off until Labour Day on Sept. 7 when the Argos travel to Hamilton and the Eskimos head south to Calgary to face the Stampeders.

Report an error
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading…

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.