For one final time, the Edmonton Elks will look to end a 16-game losing streak at home while spoiling the party of the B.C. Lions when the two teams meet on Friday night on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
The last time the Elks won on home turf was Oct. 12, 2019. The opponent on that day was the B.C. Lions. The Lions have also seen their own futility at Commonwealth Stadium. Their last win in Edmonton came in July 2013. One streak will end on Friday evening.
The Elks will have one final chance as well to make an impression with the coaching staff and management, who have already started the work towards the 2023 season.
The Elks will miss the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.
The 4-13 Elks are coming off a 28-23 loss to the Toronto Argonauts last week. The Elks never trailed in the game until 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter. It’s the sixth time the Elks had a lead either going into the second half or the fourth quarter only to be out-scored 92-39 in that scenario.
Twenty-one of the 45 players who will dress on Friday for the Elks are either in their first or second season in the CFL.
Head coach and general manager Chris Jones says he’s confident his young group will be able to take some steps forward starting on Friday night.
“I’m extremely excited to go out and watch how much growth can we have against a very good team that has the chance to secure a home playoff game,” Jones said.
“They (the Lions) are playing for a whole lot and I’m glad. They are playing for a lot and we’re playing for a lot, which will make this a very meaningful game.”
Edmonton Elks head coach and general manager Chris Jones on the optimism he has for the 2023 CFL season
Elks running back Kevin Brown continues to turn heads in the CFL. Last week, Brown scored his first CFL touchdown and recorded his second 100-yard rushing performance. Brown is averaging the second-most rushing yards per game (77.7) in the CFL. He has 466 rushing yards in six games. At that pace, his full-season rushing total would be 1,398 yards.
Taylor Cornelius will not start at quarterback for the Elks after injuring his spleen in last week’s loss to the Argos. 2022 eighth overall draft pick Tre Ford will make his third CFL start. Ford won in his first CFL start in Hamilton on Canada Day. The following week, he injured his shoulder against the Calgary Stampeders, knocking him out of action for close to two months.
Edmonton Elks quarterback Tre Ford on his week of prep for his 3rd start of the season
Defensive tackle J-Min Pelley will return after missing one game with a head injury. He will be joined by fellow Canadian defensive tackle Mak Henry who comes of the six-game injured list after dealing with a calf injury. Canadian linebacker Malik Tyne will play his first game since July 22. Canadian offensive lineman Jaylen Guthrie will suit for his first game in green and gold. Quarterback Mike Beaudry will move back on the roster as the number three quarterback.
Offensive lineman Martez Ivey (head), defensive tackle Kony Ealy, and Canadian defensive linemen Jacob Plamondon, along with Cole Nelson will come off the roster.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Tre Ford
Running back: Kevin Brown (Fullback: Tanner Green)
Offensive line: David Foucault, Jesse Gibbon, Mark Korte, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Andrew Garnett
Receivers: Dillon Mitchell, Derel Walker, Manny Arceneaux, Kai Locksley, Danny Vandervoort
Defensive line: Christian Rector, Kony Ealy, Jake Ceresna, Avery Ellis
Linebackers: Adam Konar, Matt Thomas, Enock Makanzo
Defensive backs: Jamie Harry, Ed Gainey, Scott Hutter, Treston Decoud, Donovan Olumba
You can hear live coverage of the Elks and Lions on 630 CHED with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 6 p.m. The opening kickoff on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will be at 7:45 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.