Eskimos fans still scratching their heads over questionable call

Eskimos fans still scratching their heads over questionable call

It's a moment that must play over and over again in Edmonton Eskimos coach Jason Maas's head. 

The team was down by seven points to the Calgary Stampeders and had the ball 13 yards away from the Stampeders' end zone on third down.

With one minute and 43 seconds left in the game and four yards left to extend the drive, Maas sent out kicker Sean Whyte to try to put the team within four points of a tie, having faith that his team would recover the ball in time for one final drive.

The Eskimos forced the Stampeders to punt with 24 seconds left. But after a Jamill Smith fumble, the game was over, the Stamps won and fans and players alike were left scratching their heads.

It's a play call that will be talked about and second-guessed for years to come. But it's a conversation that Maas isn't backing away from.

"Will I look back on it and wonder? Maybe,"  Maas said Sunday in a post-game interview. "But I won't ever regret it."

'It was just nuts'

Supporters of the green and gold are almost unanimous the Maas made the wrong call — and many took to social media immediately following the game, calling for Maas's firing.

Dan Creighton, an Eskimos season-ticket holder, was dumbfounded by the call.

"To bank on the defence to stop them was just too big of a gamble, I think," Creighton said Monday. 

After the call was made, Creighton watched the anger unfold on social media.

"It was just nuts," he said. " 'We'd be surprised if he still had a job,' is what the comments were."

He said he thinks the play should not cost Maas his job.

Even Stampeder fans weren't sure what to think of the field goal unit coming onto the field 13 yards from the end zone. 

"We were kind of scratching our head for sure when we were wondering why they didn't go for it," said Kevin Simpson, who was in the stands cheering on his beloved Stampeders. "He might as well have gone for the touchdown."

As the Stampeders now prepare for their Grey Cup match-up against the Toronto Argonauts, the Eskimos are left wondering whether they should have continued the drive. But like Maas, Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly said he has no regrets.

"I put faith in my coaching staff that they're going to make the best decision for us," Reilly said Sunday after the loss. "I'll never question that."