September 22, 2023

River Cree Recap: Elks edged out by Lions 37-29

The Edmonton Elks were defeated 37-29 by the BC Lions in an exciting game that came down to the wire at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night.

After falling behind 21-7 in the first quarter, a spirited Elks squad battled back time and again but ultimately couldn’t quite catch up to the Lions. The Elks had a chance to drive for the winning score trailing by six with just over a minute left but turned the ball over on downs.

“It was a very close game, the boys fought hard, we told everybody in the locker room to keep their heads up and keep playing with the type of valour and conviction that we have for the game, obviously we just fell a few plays short,” Elks linebacker Nyles Morgan said in a post-game interview on 630 CHED, radio flagship of the Green and Gold.


Dillon Mitchell caught two touchdown passes from Elks quarterback Tre Ford, who completed 20 of 27 passes for 182 yards and rushed for a team-high 42 yards. Kai Gray got Edmonton on the board in the first quarter with his first career interception return for a touchdown, and Dean Faithfull hit two of four field goal attempts for the Green and Gold.

“There was definitely opportunities to get out there and score more points,” Ford said on 630 CHED. “When we get to the opponent’s side of the field, it would be ideal if we’re scoring touchdowns and not trying to kick field goals. Getting three points on the board is always a bonus, but putting up sevens is what the really good teams do and we just weren’t able to do that today, we’ve got to put up more touchdowns.”

Kyran Moore led Edmonton with eight catches for 56 receiving yards. Manny Arceneaux had three receptions, as the veteran receiver extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 143, one short of tying Ben Cahoon for fourth-longest in CFL history.

Morgan had 12 tackles for the Green and Gold and Jake Ceresna sacked Lions quarterback Vernon Adams twice. Darrius Bratton picked off Adams for his first career interception.

BC jumped ahead 7-0, after Adams connected with Justin McInnis for a five-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening possession. Edmonton evened the score midway through the first quarter when Gray intercepted an Adams pass at midfield and took the ball 56 yards to the house.

The Lions regained the lead on a 57-yard touchdown reception by Jevon Cottoy, and extended their advantage to 21-7 after 15 minutes after Taquan Mizzell rushing 13 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the opening quarter.

A flurry of scoring in the final 90 seconds of the second quarter saw Ford complete a 10-yard pass to Mitchell for a touchdown before the teams exchanged field goals to make the score 24-17 favouring BC at half.

After Edmonton pulled within 24-21 in the third quarter, Mizzell rushed 48 yards for his second touchdown of the night to put BC back in front by 10 going into the fourth quarter.

Lions kicker Sean Whyte hit a field goal with just over six minutes remaining to give BC a 34-21 lead, but Edmonton took the ensuing possession 64 yards in seven plays culminating in Mitchell’s second TD catch of the night. The Elks got the ball back trailing 34-28 with 1:36 remaining but Sione Teuhema sacked Ford at the Edmonton 38 yard line on third down. After Whyte knocked through a field goal to put BC up 37-28, Faithfull tacked on a single from a missed field goal to round out the scoring.

Edmonton drops to 4-11 with the loss, while BC improves to 10-4. The Elks will have a bye in Week 17 before returning to action on Oct. 6 at the Toronto Argonauts.


Don’t miss the Green and Gold’s final home game of the regular season when the Elks host the Montreal Alouettes on Oct. 14. Click here to get your tickets now and be part of the tradition.

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