You gotta have faith. And you gotta have Faithfull.
After missing an extra point earlier in the fourth quarter, rookie kicker Dean Faithfull hit a 42-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift the Edmonton Elks to a thrilling 25-23 come-from-behind victory over the Calgary Stampeders at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.
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Trailing 23-7 to start the fourth quarter, Edmonton closed the game by scoring 18 unanswered points for their second consecutive win at home. The comeback was particularly sweet for the Green and Gold, who lost to the Stampeders in Calgary on Labour Day on a last-minute touchdown after leading by 15 points.
This time the shoe was on the other foot, as Edmonton rallied with touchdowns from Taylor Cornelius and Dillon Mitchell, and a pair of field goals from Faithfull in the fourth quarter. Kevin Brown also scored a first half touchdown for the Elks, who had led 7-0 early.
“Similar to the other night, it came down to (the end) in the fourth quarter, and this time we were able to make enough plays to win the game,” Elks coach and general manager Chris Jones said in a post-game interview on 630 CHED, radio flagship of the Green and Gold. “I can’t say how proud I am of our players and coaches, everybody involved in our program. When it comes down to the last play, it’s always nice.”
Tre Ford completed 14 of 22 passes for 173 yards with a touchdown, and rushed for 82 yards on eight carries. The second-year quarterback rebounded after throwing two interceptions to lead four scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
Edmonton’s defence kept Calgary off the board in the fourth quarter, forcing three two-and-outs to give the Elks offence a chance at rallying.
Brown led Edmonton with a career-high 143 rushing yards, while Eugene Lewis was Edmonton’s leading receiver with five catches for 89 yards, all in the second half.
Manny Arceneaux caught a pass late in the fourth quarter, extending his streak of games with a reception to 141, just three away from tying Ben Cahoon for the fourth longest in CFL history.
— CFL (@CFL) September 9, 2023
Edmonton scored a touchdown on its opening possession, with Brown accounting for all yardage on a three-play, 58-yard drive that culminated in Brown rushing 45 yards to the endzone as the Elks took a 7-0 lead. Calgary’s Rene Paredes kicked a 37-yard field goal to make the score 7-3 Elks after one quarter.
Calgary took a 10-7 lead after William Langlais caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Jake Maier midway through the second quarter. The Stamps then extended their lead to 17-7 with Maier throwing a touchdown to Reggie Begelton just five seconds before the halftime break.
Paredes kicked two field goals in the third quarter to extend Calgary’s lead to 23-7 before the Elks answered with a touchdown on a QB sneak from the one-yard line by Cornelius, cutting the Stamps lead to 23-13.
On Edmonton’s next possession, Tre Ford drove the Elks to the endzone, 78 yards in four plays, connecting with Dillon Mitchell on a 32-yard touchdown pass to pull the Green and Gold within four points, 23-19. On their following possession, the Elks got a 40-yard field goal from Dean Faithfull to make the score 23-22 with just over five minutes remaining in the game.
— CFL (@CFL) September 10, 2023
After turning over the ball on downs on their ensuring possession, Edmonton got the ball back at its own 27 with 35 seconds to go. A clutch completion from Ford to Lewis helped get the Elks in field goal range, setting the stage for Faithfull to knock through the first game-winning field goal of his career.
With the win, Edmonton improves to 3-10, while the Stampeders drop to 4-9. The Elks return to action on Friday when they visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT.
CAMPUS CLASH GAME
Be there for Friday Night Football, when the Edmonton Elks battle the BC Lions on Sept. 22 at Commonwealth Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Being part of the action has never been more affordable, with tickets starting at just $15. Click here to get your tickets now and be part of the tradition.
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