The red-hot Edmonton Elks have won four of their last five games after storming back to defeat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 36-27 at Mosaic Stadium on Friday.
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Trailing for most of the game before finally taking their first lead with just under 13 minutes remaining, the Elks outscored Saskatchewan 16-0 in the fourth quarter to win for a second straight after trailing to start the final quarter.
Elks quarterback Tre Ford threw a touchdown to Eugene Lewis and also ran for a major. Taylor Cornelius hooked up with AC Leonard for a touchdown pass, and Kevin Brown added a rushing TD for the Green and Gold.
“I thought offensively we did a good job running the ball,” Ford said during a post-game interview on 630 CHED, radio flagship of the Elks. (Brown) played an amazing game, our O-line did really well up front, as well as Tanner (Green) and Manny (Arceneaux) on the ends, and I just thought we were able to run the ball and tire the defence out.”
Brown had a CFL season-best 175 rushing yards, his second consecutive week setting a career-high for yards gained on the ground. The second-year running back passed 1,000 rushing yards for the season, becoming the first Elks player to eclipse that mark since CJ Gable in 2019. Edmonton dominated on the ground, out-gaining the Riders 265-61 in rush yards.
For the second consecutive game, Edmonton’s defence shutout the opposition in the fourth quarter. Sam Acheampong sacked Roughriders quarterback Jake Dolegala in the endzone with just two minutes remaining to put the game out of reach.
Dean Faithfull added a pair of field goals, as the Elks rookie kicker extended his streak to 11 consecutive FG makes. Edmonton’s CJ Sims racked up 102 yards on kick returns, his third game with at least 100 kick return yards this season.
After falling behind 10-0, Edmonton got on the board early in the second quarter when Leonard scored his second TD of the season on a 10-yard pass from Cornelius.
Cornelius to Leonard for the Elks TD! pic.twitter.com/bsaPsvLscG
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 16, 2023
Saskatchewan led 13-10 at halftime before Edmonton drew even on Faithfull’s second field goal of the night on the Elks’ first possession of the second half. The teams then traded touchdowns, with Saskatchewan going ahead 20-13 before Brown rumbled 35-yards to pay dirt. Shawn Bane Jr. caught a 12-yard touchdown from Dolegala with just over 1:00 left in the third quarter to restore Saskatchewan’s lead.
Edmonton took over in the fourth quarter. Lewis hauled in a 30-yard touchdown from Ford as Edmonton tied the game 27-27, and the QB put the Elks in front to stay on a 10-yard rushing touchdown with just under six minutes left on the clock.
“Any time you got (Ford) playing quarterback for you, I just beleive we have a chance to win the game,” Elks defensive lineman Jake Ceresna said on 630 CHED.
“There’s a couple of scores we gave up early where it’s on the defence, and we just knew the offence was going to get us back in the game, and towards the end of the game we were going to have to come up with big stop to help our team out, too,” continued Ceresna, who recorded his sack as a member of the Green and Gold to tie Larry Wruck for 13th place in club history. “It was just all three phases playing well and it’s a collective win.”
The Elks have now outscored the opposition a combined 34-0 in the fourth quarter of their last two games. Last week, the Green and Gold trailed 23-7 with 15 minutes remaining before scoring 18 unanswered points to beat the Calgary Stampeders 25-23.
With the win Edmonton improves to 4-10 and now has eight points, tied for fourth in the West Division with the Stampeders. The Elks return to action on Sept. 22, when they host the BC Lions at Commonwealth Stadium.
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