Looking for their first win of the 2022 CFL season, the Edmonoton Elks are turning to a Canadian to start at quarterback. Tre Ford will get the call on Canada Day against the Tiger-Cats from Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton in a battle of 0-3 teams.
The Elks drafted Ford eighth overall in this year’s CFL Draft. The Waterloo Warriors product won the Hec Creighton Award in 2021 given to the best football player in USports.
In six games last season in Waterloo, Ford led the OUA in passing with 1,465 yards, throwing 10 touchdown passes and four interceptions. Ford added 629 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns.
Ford said he’s been doing his best to prepare for his first CFL start in a short week.
“I found out early in the week, coach told me so I could mentally prepare myself for the game, and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Ford said. “It was a shorter week so we didn’t get our full practice time in but I have to just stay on my keys mentally. Read the defence, see the blitzes and see everything work out for our offense.”
Edmonton Elks quarterback Tre Ford speaks about his first CFL start in Hamilton on Canada Day
In the first three games, Nick Arbuckle recorded 795 passing yards, throwing for two touchdown passes. Arbuckle has also thrown six interceptions, which is tied for the CFL lead with Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans.
Head coach Chris Jones says Arbuckle won the starting job out of training camp based on his experience and his numbers during camp were slightly above Ford’s. Jones says it’s now time to make a change.
“We’re 0-3 now. We’ve played some good football but also some inconsistent football,” Jones said.
“Tre is going to bring a different package to the game and different abilities compared to Nick so we’re going to attempt to win the football game.
“Every decision that we make is to win the football game and we feel like Tre is hopefully bring some things to our team that we need.”
Edmonton Elks head coach Chris Jones on his decision to start Tre Ford at QB against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Canada Day
The Elks offence received a big blow on Thursday morning as running back James Wilder Junior was placed on the team’s six-game injured list with a shoulder injury.
Wilder Junior missed some practice time over the last couple of weeks. Jones says the shoulder has been an issue for Wilder Junior over their last two games.
Sherman Badie will make his first CFL start at running back. He dressed in last week’s 30-23 loss to the Calgary Stampeder.
In two pre-season games, Badie rushed three times for 28 yards and caught three passes for 11 yards.
Linebacker Deon Lacey has been placed on the one-game injured list.
Last week in Calgary, Lacey led the Elks in defensive tackles with 10.
Sheldon Brady will start at middle linebacker after missing last week’s game with a knee injury.
Jeawon Taylor was signed back to team this week and will start at SAM linebacker, he recorded five defensive tackles and one special teams tackle in two pre-season games.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Tre Ford
Running back: Sherman Badie (fullback: Tanner Green)
Offensive line: Tony Washington, David Foucault, David Beard, Mark Korte, Martez Ivey
Receivers: Derel Walker, Kenny Lawler, Emmaneul Arceneaux, Kai Locksley, Mike Jones
Defensive line: Thomas Cositgan, Makana Henry, Christian Rector, Matthew Thomas
Linebackers: Adam Konar, Brady Sheldon, Jeawon Taylor
Defensive backs: Jalen Collins, Ed Gainey, Scott Hutter, Treston Decoud, Nafees Lyon
You can hear live coverage of the Canada Day matchup between the Elks and Tiger-Cats on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 4 p.m. The opening kickoff from Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton will be at 5:30 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell with analysis by former Edmonton Football Team offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott.