On Thursday night, the Elks will look for their first win streak of the season when they host the Calgary Stampeders on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
On Canada Day, the Elks erased a 13-point deficit to win 29-25 over the Tiger-Cats. The Elks forced four turnovers including two interceptions, a turnover on downs and a fumble return for a touchdown by defensive back Jalen Collins with 98 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
It was the Elks largest road comeback since Oct. 21, 2017, when they erased a 16-point deficit against the B.C. Lions.
Jalen Collins scoop and score securing the Edmonton Elks first win of the season
On offence, Tre Ford became the first Canadian quarterback to start for the Elks since Frank Cosentino back in October 1968. Ford, a product of the Waterloo Warriors and the eighth overall pick in this year’s CFL Draft, passed for 159 yards throwing one touchdown pass and one interception.
Ford also used his mobility to his advantage by rushing for 61 yards. It was a successful debut for the 2021 Hec Creighton Award winner but Ford knows he has more to give on the football field.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is definitely to (be) more composed and relaxed in the pocket,” Ford said. “Knowing those big boys up front are going to give me the time, I need to go through my reads and get the ball to my athletes.”
Edmonton Elks quarterback Tre Ford is asked if much has changed game plan wise in preparation for the Stampeders
Ford’s passing production came primarily in the zero- to nine-yard range where he was 14 of 21. He attempted only four passes in the 10- to 19-yard range. completing two passes.
Ford’s only attempt of 20 yards or more was intercepted. On the ground, Ford recorded three rushes of 10 yards or more with his longest being 14 yards.
The Elks and Stampeders met in Calgary back on June 25, with the Elks unable to maintain a 10-point lead in the game and eventually lost 30-23. Thursday will be the second of four meetings between the two teams.
Edmonton Elks head coach Chris Jones on defensive changes from first game with the Stampeders and impact Tre Ford can have
The Elks will also look to break a long losing streak at home. The Elks are on a franchise record nine-game losing streak dating back to the 2019 season.
The team will make just one change to the roster, as starting fullback Tanner Green is on the six-game injured list with a core muscle injury. Defensive back Ethan Makanzo has been added to the active roster.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Tre Ford
Running back: Sherman Badie (fullback: Ante Milanovich-Litre)
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, Ben Davis, Jeawon Taylor
Defensive backs: Jalen Collins, Ed Gainey, Scott Hutter, Treston Decoud, Nafees Lyon
You can hear live coverage of Thursday’s game between the Elks and Stampeders on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 5:30 p.m.
The opening kickoff on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium 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. David Boles will be reporting from the Elks sidelines.