There’s a lot on the line in the upcoming Labour Day Classic on Monday, September 4 between the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders. If the Elks can build on their two game win streak they can catch the Stampeders and inch closer to being in contention for a playoff spot.
The Stampeders meanwhile are looking to break their three game losing streak, and with a win can also climb back into playoff contention. Needless to say this has the makings of being one of the most important Labour Day Classics in a long time.
Calgary Holds A Historical Edge on Labour Day
There have been some fierce battles between Edmonton and Calgary at McMahon Stadium on Labour Day with the Stampeders holding a 28-26-1 all time record against the Green and Gold. One of the most intense games was back in 2003 when former Eskimo Receiver and General Manager Ed Hervey swung his helmet at the Stamps Davis Sanchez and hit an official instead. Edmonton Sportscaster, Dave Jamieson, who worked for the Eskimos back then-helped restore some order on the field. That was back in the day when both teams were duking it out for first place.
The Stampeders won seven Labour Day Classics in a row from 2012 to 2019 and it seemed like former Stamps Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell could do no wrong during the majority of that eight game winning streak. However that was then and this is now, and both Alberta CFL teams are uncharacteristically sitting at the bottom of the standings. The Stamps now led by QB Jake Maier are hoping to get the better of Elks QB Tre Ford and there’s a lot more than bragging rights on the line this Labour Day. With a win both the Elks and Stamps can move closer to catching the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the West or the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Redblacks for the Eastern Division Crossover.
Elks QB Tre Ford Holding A Hot Hand
The changes the Elks made back in August by promoting Jarius Jackson to Offensive Coordinator and moving Tre Ford to the starting quarterback position have been paying bigtime dividends. The Elks were able to break their 22 game home losing streak on August 27 with a 30-20 victory over the Redblacks, and with that albatross off their backs are looking to build even more positive momentum in the second half of the CFL season. Ford was rewarded for his inspired play by being named Player of the Month for August in the CFL.
Meanwhile the Stampeders have looked good at times, especially in their home victory over the Toronto Argonauts back on August 4. The Stamps are the only team in the CFL to beat the defending Grey Cup Champion Argos this season, and it looked like that win would ignite their season. Unfortunately things have fallen short in Cowtown and the Stampeders season is looking like its on life support. A win over the Elks on Labour Day could be the cure all for a 2023 season that hasn’t gone well for the Stampeders.
Winning Back-to-Back Battle of Alberta Games Vital for Both Clubs
These next two games for the Elks and Stampeders will define their seasons. There’s so much on the line for both franchises and neither team can ill afford to be swept. Even though the EE and the Stampeders aren’t fighting for first place like they so often have, these two back-to-back Battle of Alberta Games on Monday, September 4th in Calgary and back in Edmonton on Saturday, September 9 are going to be must-see TV. Both organizations should be expecting their biggest crowds of the season, and that’s nothing but good news for both teams. After the past few seasons of struggle for the league and heartache especially for Elks fans, these Battle of Alberta Labour Day games feel like something special again.
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