Friday night features a matchup of two struggling teams in the CFL’s Western Division as the Edmonton Elks visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.
Both teams started the season in the opposite direction of the other.
The Elks started off with a 1-4 record while the Riders enjoyed a great start with a 4-1 record.
Over the last eight games, both teams have identical 2-6 records.
The Elks have a long way to go, however, to match the Riders in the standings.
The Elks are six points back of the Riders for fourth in the West, the Riders are currently in the crossover position in the Eastern Division. A win by the Elks on Friday will keep their slim playoff hopes alive. A loss and the Elks will be eliminated from playoff contention for the third time in the last four seasons.
Edmonton Elks defensive back Ed Gainey on playing the Riders for the first time since leaving for Edmonton in the off-season
The Elks dropped the first two games of their three games with the Riders. The Elks led by a point in the fourth quarter back on June 18 in Edmonton, but lost 26-16. In Edmonton again on Aug. 13, the Elks again held a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, only to lose 34-23.
In the two meetings, there have been 12 lead changes, six in each game. The Elks are on a seven-game losing streak against the Riders.
Edmonton Elks head coach Chris Jones on moving on from loss to the Stampeders last Saturday in the Labour Day Rematch
Receiver Dillon Mitchell enjoyed another excellent performance last week and was a bright spot in the Elks 56-28 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. Mitchell recorded 120 yards for his first 100 yard game of his CFL career. Mitchell is averaging 85.3 yards per game over his last three games.
Running back Kevin Brown rushed 10 for 91 yards and is averaging 9.1 yards per carry over his last two games. He was 10 catches for 66 yards.
After missing the Labour Day series with the Stampeders because of a groin injury, Nyles Morgan will return to the Elks lineup and start at middle linebacker. Morgan has 34 defensive tackles in five games played this season.
Quarterback Tre Ford will dress for his first game since his July 7 start against Calgary and will backup Taylor Cornelius. Ford suffered a shoulder injury, missing the last eight games.
Defensive lineman Christian Rector will play his first game since July 7 when he suffered an elbow injury.
Linebacker Deon Lacey will return after being a healthy scratch for the last two games.
Coming off the roster are defenisve lineman Nick Coe who was released this week. Linebacker Mark McLaurin has been placed on the six-game injured list with a knee injury. Quarterback Mike Beaudry and linebacker Nate Evans have been moved to the practice roster.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Taylor Cornelius
Running back: Ante Milanovich-Litre (Fullback: Tanner Green)
Offensive line: Martez Ivey, David Foucault, Mark Korte, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Andrew Garnett
Receivers: Dillon Mitchell, Derel Walker, Jalin Marshall, Kai Locksley, Vincent Forbes-Mombleau
Defensive line: Avery Ellis, J-Min Pelley, Jake Ceresna, Matt Thomas
Linebackers: Adam Konar, Nyles Morgan Enock Makanzo
Defensive backs: Treston Decoud, Ed Gainey, Scott Hutter, Jeff Richards, Jamie Harry
You can hear live coverage of the Elks and Riders on 630 CHED, starting with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 6 p.m.
The opening kickoff from Mosaic Stadium in Regina will be at 7:30 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.