When Labour Day weekend arrives, it’s a special day on the Canadian Football League calendar. It is also a day that is circled on every team’s calendar when the season schedule first comes out for the upcoming season.
And rightfully so.
You see when you are a player who has been given the privilege of putting on that uniform on Labour Day, you are not just playing any regular-season game. Because the annual Labour Day game is much more than that.
What a Labour Day game represents is an unofficial one-game playoff game. The hits will be harder, and the anger and hatred towards your opposition will be amplified a few more octaves above your normality. And the ultimate prize is simple.
It has been often said by many CFL Alumni that no matter how bad of a season you have experienced so far, win on Labour Day, and the painful season is somewhat relieved. Because when you win or lose on Labour Day, this is a game that can turn fortunes around for any organization. You are just past the halfway point of the CFL schedule. Win on Labour Day, and it can ignite a winning streak just on raw emotion. Because after all, the second half of the season will separate the men vs. the boys on which teams will move forward, and which teams will falter down the stretch.
The Edmonton Elks (2-9) will travel south to lock horns with the Calgary Stampeders (3-8) in the Battle of Alberta for the Labour Day Classic. It’s a game in which both respected teams have had a horrific sub-par season thus far as indicated by their win-loss column. The one thing going in Edmonton’s favour is the fact that they finally have found their identity in winning two straight games after beginning the first half of the 2023 CFL season going winless in their first nine games played. For Calgary, the two main issues that are the factor so far are that they have been hampered by the injury bug with a good bulk of their roster during the 2023 season. The other has been the inconsistency of the quarterback play of Jake Maier. If you told any CFL fan at the beginning of the season that the Calgary Stampeders would be sitting with a 3-8 record heading into Labour Day, they would not believe you. For the Edmonton Elks, they have to accomplish something that they have not done in quite some time. Start winning more regularly on Labour Day which they have only been on the winning end on two occasions since 2011. During this stretch, Edmonton has only won in 2011, and more recently in 2021.
Date / Location: Monday, September 4th, 2023 / McMahon Stadium / Calgary, Alberta
Kickoff Time: 7:00 PM EST
Channel: TSN / TSN+ / CBS Sports Network
Temperature: 13 Degress Celsius. Will feel like 13 Degress Celsius. Cloudy with light rain.
Wind Gust: 23 Kilometers per hour.
Percentage of Precipitation: 70%
Spread: Calgary Stampeders -5.5 (-108) Edmonton Elks +5.5 (-106)
Money line: Calgary Stampeders (-218) Edmonton Elks (+182)
Over / Under: Over 46.5 (-106) / Under 46.5 (-108)
Edmonton Elks Week 13 Depth Chart vs. Calgary Stampeders
Note: As of now, the Calgary Stampeders have not unveiled there depth chart.
Edmonton Elks Injury Report:
Although there are some listed as unknown at the moment prior to gameday, the loss of DB / LB Louchiez Purifoy will be a big loss for Edmonton tomorrow.
Calgary Stampeders Injury Report:
Players to Watch
Tre Ford: Tre Ford has been the emotional spark Edmonton desperately needed since taking over control of the offence in week 11. Not only has he been a key figure in moving the chains with both his arm and legs, but he has also been the anchor of the offence in creating an exciting offence. At the end of the day, it does begin and end with the quarterback play. With that said, his talent has not gone unnoticed as his creativity, along with his instinct, has been nothing but stellar with his two games played this season. He will challenge Calgary in stretching their defence.
Nyles Morgan: The anchor of the Edmonton defence along with being the heart and soul of the Edmonton defence. Nyles Morgan will have a big game against the Calgary Stampeders. He will be a key figure in both the pass rush and dropping back into coverage defending the pass. He is very capable of disrupting a lot of passing lanes that Jake Maier with throw at him. His speed, size, power, and football IQ will come to fruition in the Labour Day Classic.
Micah Awe: If you are looking for a candidate for the top defensive player for the 2023 season, Micah Awe is a strong candidate. He currently leads the CFL with 77 tackles. And let’s just say that a good portion of these tackles are in the form of a punishing hit. His instinct and talent have not been unnoticed since he entered the league in 2018. He has been a linebacker that can simply change the outcome of the game with his clutch moments. He will make it difficult for the Edmonton Elks’ offensive line to keep him in check during the passing and running game.
Reggie Begelton: He has been a go-to target for the Calgary Stampeders since being a mainstay in 2019. He currently sits with a lifetime average of 13.94 yards per catch. He is a player who can be a game-changer for the Calgary offence. His route running, along with creating separation against defenders makes Reggie Begelton one of the most complete wide receivers in the CFL.
With both teams struggling this season, something has got to give in heading in the right direction down the stretch of the CFL calendar. For the Edmonton Elks, this is a doable game to extend their winning streak to three games in a row. Not only have they broken the streak of halting their losing streak to nine games lost, but they also halted their home losing streak. So, it’s safe to say that they seized the losing issues on two areas of concern this season for the time being.
Edmonton Elks: 32
Calgary Stampeders: 26
The Edmonton Elks go into McMahon Stadium and shell-shock the Calgary Stampeders. This will be a close-contested game in which both teams play well enough to win. The X factor in this game will be the play of Tre Ford who will outperform Jake Maier at key moments in the game that will result in an Edmonton victory.
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