Elks looking to reverse a trend against the Lions

The last four games the Edmonton Elks have played against the B.C. Lions are games you would want to forget if you’re a fan of the green and gold.

November 19, 2021: Lions 43 Elks 10

June 11, 2022: Lions 59 Elks 15

August 6, 2022: Lions 46 Elks 14

October 21, 2022: Lions 31 Elks 14

Add it all up and the Elks have been out-scored 179-53 in their last four meetings with the Lions.

The Elks will look for their first win of the season on Saturday against the Lions at B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver.

Edmonton is perhaps more concered about bouncing back from a 17-13 season-opening loss last Sunday to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

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Head coach Chris Jones said there are players on the team who have been a part of all or most of those four losses. However, many players were not even on the team last season.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Elks president says fans are in for a great year'
Edmonton Elks president says fans are in for a great year

“We’ve got a boatload of rookies that were playing football in college last year at this time that have nothing to do with last year,” Jones said. “We’re 0-1 right now, that’s the reality, and we can’t get it back.

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“The thing that we got to do is attempt to be the best players and football team as we can. We have to be better coaches and then move on to the next opponent because (B.C.) are very good and they beat Calgary on the road.”

Three rookies can be found in the secondary: Dwayne Thompson, Darrius Bratton, and Kai Gray. All three made their CFL debuts last week against the Riders.

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Gray shook off an early defensive pass interference call which led to Riders touchdown. Gray recorded his first CFL interception later in the game to go along with four defensive tackles. He said his concern is only stopping the 2023 edition of the B.C. Lions

“Yeah, there’s no real history so I just keep a straight forward mentality,” Gray said. “Play everyday like it’s my last, look at the film, and just play. Just play the game and let everything come on instinct.”

Elks DB Kai Gray on his first CFL game against the Riders while still getting used to the CFL game

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Day 2 of the practice week for the Elks always is “compete day.”

The offence and defence battle for points and the side with the most points wins a chicken dinner the next day, paid for by the losing side.

The enthusiasm was fever pitch inside the fieldhouse as the Elks escaped the wet conditions and the poor air quality. At the end of practice, Jones’ message to his team was to bring the same energy they had on day 2 into the game on Saturday and every other game.

Receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. said there was a drop-off on Sunday against the Riders.

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“I think we compete as a team really good but I think this past week, we didn’t come out with that same intensity,” Dunbar Jr. said. “I think (Jones’) message is just to come out and play with that same energy and same intensity.

“Have as much fun against the other team (that) we bring to each other on chicken day and let’s bring it to game day.”

Elks receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. on bringing more energy to games much like they do in practice

Sigh of relief for Pelley

On Wednesday, Canadian defensive lineman J-Min Pelley left practice early after hurting his back and was listed as “limited” on the Elks injury reports.

Good news however for Pelley on Thursday, as he returned as a full participant and should be good to go for Saturday.

630 CHED will have live coverage from Vancouver starting with Countdown to Kick-off at 3:30 p.m., the opening kick-off will be at 5 p.m.

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