Turnabout was fair play for the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.
Dean Faithfull kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired as the Elks gave the Calgary Stampeders a taste of their own medicine, coming from behind to record a 25-23 victory.
“It’s my first one and I’m just really proud to be able to help the boys,” Faithfull said of kicking the walk-off game winner. “I told them it’s their win, they worked so hard to get that win and I’m just happy I can contribute.”
The Elks, who blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter in Monday’s Labour Day loss to Calgary, kept their faint playoff hopes alive, improving to 3-10.
Running back Kevin Brown had a great game for the Elks, recording 143 yards rushing.
“Definitely, that’s the most I’ve ever got in a game, period,” said Brown. “I’m honoured. I mean, give it up to the guys up front, the O-line and the receivers blocking downfield. I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”
Calgary (4-9) has lost four of its last five.
“It is tough to be on the other end of a game like that,” said Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson. “It felt like we had a real good chance to win that game and it just got away on us. We didn’t play well enough. We didn’t win the line of scrimmage battle and take advantage of our opportunities. They got momentum and took it.
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“It’s a big blow on our season.”
The Elks had a strong start to the contest with a touchdown on their first possession as Brown found a seam up the middle and scampered 45 yards into the end zone.
Calgary quarterback Jake Maier responded by finding Markeith Ambles for a 35-yard passing play, eventually setting up a 37-yard Rene Paredes field goal.
The Stampeders took the lead midway through the second quarter when Maier completed a three-yard TD pass to William Langlais.
Calgary took a 17-7 lead into the dressing room at the half after Maier hit Reggie Begelton for a 10-yard touchdown catch with five seconds remaining in the second frame.
Edmonton quarterback Tre Ford, who was rattled by a hit late in the second, remained in the game to start the third but had a pass picked off early in the quarter by Brad Muhammad, setting up a 25-yard Paredes field goal.
Paredes added a 29-yard field goal late in the third.
The Elks clawed back into the game with a one-yard TD plunge by backup quarterback Taylor Cornelius on a third down gamble to start the fourth. The two-point convert attempt failed.
After having only passed for 26 yards to that point in the game, Ford finally found his arm on successive big passes, hitting Eugene Lewis for a 33-yard catch and then Dillon Mitchell for a 32-yard TD with nine minutes to go in the fourth. However, Faithfull’s convert kick was wide, keeping the Stamps up by four points.
Edmonton kept up the comeback bid, getting a 40-yard Faithfull field goal with five minutes to play to make it a one-point game.
The Elks got the ball back late and drove down the field to allow Faithfull to kick the game-winning field goal as time expired.
“I thought the pass game developed in the second half, because they didn’t know when we were going to throw,” Ford said. “The offence came together in the second half and we wouldn’t have done anything without the defence. The defence played amazing in the second half.”
The two teams played each other in the Labour Day Classic on Monday in Calgary, a game that saw the Stampeders record 22 fourth-quarter points to come back for a 35-31 win over the Elks. Edmonton quarterback Ford set a record for Canadian quarterbacks with 135 rushing yards, which was also tied for the most by an Edmonton QB since 1999. Maier completed 27 passes for 315 yards in the victory. … The Elks had three key starters back in the lineup in safety Loucheiz Purifoy, left guard David Foucault and defensive tackle J-Min Pelley. However, they lost three players in the first half — WR Steven Dunbar, DL Noah Curtis and DB Marcus Lewis. … The Elks once again gave out free tickets to those affected by the wildfires in the Northwest Territories.
The Elks are in Regina to face the Saskatchewan Roughriders (6-6) next Friday. The Stampeders have a bye week.