Meet The Eskimos

October 16, 1994

History: Edmonton formed a rugby club and beat an established Calgary team in 1892. Called the Eskimaux in 1907, they changed their name to Eskimos in 1910. The team disbanded in 1924, then reassembled in 1928, winning the Alberta Rugby championship for the sixth time. The Eskimos won their first Grey Cup in 1954 under Frank "Pop" Ivy. From 1978 through 1982, they dominated the CFL, winning five consecutive Grey Cups. They won their last eight games of 1993 -- after suffering the worst home loss in club history, 52-14, to Winnipeg -- to win the Cup for the 11th time.

Ownership: The team is community owned. John C. Ramsey was named president of the board of directors in February 1993. Ramsey is president and chairman of the Ramsey Brokerage Co. Ltd. in Edmonton and a partner in two auto dealerships.

Key players: QB Damon Allen is seventh in passer efficiency with 20 TDs and 14 interceptions, and leads the team with 614 yards rushing. His favorite target is Eddie Brown, who has 62 catches and 12 TDs. Gizmo Williams is the CFL's all-time leader in punt return yards (7,583) and touchdowns (23), but he missed the last two games with a hip-flexor injury. MLB Willie Pless is second in the league with 86 tackles, and LB Larry Wruck fourth with 73. CB Robert Holland leads the CFL with 140 return yards on seven interceptions. Place-kicker Sean Fleming is third in points with 165.

Strengths and weaknesses: The Eskimos average 29.1 points and give up 23.4 (second best in the league). Their strengths are defense and special teams. The defense is second in the league in sacks with 37, and fourth in total yards (352.4 per game). They lead the league in fewest penalties. On offense they are 10th in both average gain per rush (4.8) and pass (7.2).

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