The Edmonton Eskimos closed out a disappointing season on a high note Friday, defeating the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders 20-18.
Ron McClendon rushed for a four-yard touchdown in the first quarter and Ricky Ray and Jason Tucker connected on a 28-yard TD pass in the third to lead the Eskimos to the victory.
Roughriders kicker Luca Congi had a chance to win the game with afield goal in the final seconds, but his 49-yard attempt fell short.
Edmonton (7-11) was playing for pride after having been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time in 35 years.
"This is my 10th year as a coach and I've been to four Grey Cups and I'm as proud of these guys as I am of those four teams " Eskimos coach Danny Maciocia said. "I'd like to go back in history and find out how many teams that were in our situation would have packed it in a month ago."
The game marked the official end of an era as it was Hugh Campbell's final outing as Eskimos chief executive officer. Campbell, who will remain part of the organization as a consultant, announced he was stepping down earlier this week.
Riders sit starters
Saskatchewan (9-9) got a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Marcus Crandell and three second-half field goals from Congi.
The game was essentially meaningless for the Roughriders, who wereentrenched in third place in the CFL's West division and locked into a first-round playoff date at Calgary on Nov. 5 (CBC, 4 p.m. ET).
Not wishing to subject his regular starters to injury, Saskatchewan coach Danny Barrett elected not to dress quarterback Kerry Joseph, running back Kenton Keith, wide receiver Matt Dominguez and defensive endsNate Davis and Terrell Jurineack.
"The guys that were sitting at home will be well-rested," said Crandell. "I think we're going to be coming at Calgary with a great attitude. We're going to be ready."