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Edmonton Elks Looking To Upset Saskatchewan Roughriders

It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Edmonton Elks. The first 9 games were woulda coulda shoulda including two close losses against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on June 11 and July 6.

Either of those two games could’ve gone either way, and now the Elks and Riders finish up their regular season series on Friday, September 15 in Saskatchewan with the Elks playing their best football of the season, and maybe in the past three years.

Elks Coming Off A Miracle Win At Home Against the Calgary Stampeders

Yes Timmy, miracles do happen. It’s a miracle that the Elks won the Labour Day rematch against the Stampeders on Saturday September 9 at Commonwealth Stadium 25-23. The Stampeders controlled the game for three quarters and then inexplicably got off their game plan in the fourth quarter and allowed the Elks to score an unanswered 18 points in the final 15 minutes, including a last second winning field goal by Elks Kicker and new fan favourite Dean Faithfull.

Faithfull, who was born in the United Kingdom, saluted the home crowd in Edmonton and then his teammates with a royal wave reminiscent of the Royal Family standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. It’s definitely been one of the best moments of what’s been a rollercoaster season for the Elks. Going into the fourth quarter of the Labour Day rematch, Tre Ford and the Elks offense could only muster 21 yards passing, and it looked like the same old same old from the Elks. But Ford channelled his inner Damon Allen and ran and passed his way to one of the sweetest home victories in the last decade for the EE franchise.

Riders Got Fed Their Lunch Against First Place Winnipeg

Saskatchewan was looking to sweep the Labour Day series with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the annual Banjo Bowl at IG Field and a scorned Bomber team would have nothing of it. The Bombers came out with revenge on their minds and won going away 51-6. The Riders were coming off their biggest win of the season on September 3 when they beat the Bombers in overtime at home 32-30 in a highly entertaining and emotional victory.

The recent loss in Winnipeg evens the Riders record to 6 and 6, and they’re still in the drivers seat for third place and a playoff spot in the CFL’s Western Division but they have to keep winning. A loss against the resurgent Elks at home on Friday would be a blow for Saskatchewan but not the end of the world.

Elks and Riders: A Tale of Two Inexperienced Quarterbacks

If the upcoming Elks/Riders tilt were a basketball game, you might have to give the edge to the Riders 6’ 7” quarterback Jake Dolegala vs. Elks starting QB 6’1” Tre Ford. But both QBs seem to be the same size when it comes to heart and compete. Dolegala and Ford were low down on the depth chart when the season started, and because of injuries in Saskatchewan and inconsistent play from previous starters in Edmonton – both have assumed the starting roles with both squads. The way Dolegala and Ford have emerged, it might be difficult to take them out of the line up, especially Ford.

It’ll be interesting what will happen in Saskatchewan if Trevor Harris can make it back from his knee injury which required surgery. As for Mason Fine, he’s been moved to the one game injured reserve list and it’ll be interesting to see if he’ll get back in the starters role and supplant both Dolegala and current backup Antonio Pipkin. Meanwhile in Edmonton, the starter’s job is definitely now Tre Ford’s. It would’ve been easy for the Elks coaching staff to pull Ford after the third quarter against Calgary at home. He had his roughest start of his CFL career in the first three quarters against the Stampeders but showed a lot of fight and resolve to turn it around in the fourth quarter of the September 9 game for the victory. Ford might not have the best passing statistics but he seems to win, and that’s all that matters with a fan base who has literally been starving for victories for three years.

Riders Are Slight Favourites Going Into Game Vs. Elks

Saskatchewan is currently +3 favourites going into their home game against Edmonton, but depending on the news coming from both camps this week those odds could swing slightly before kick off. The Elks/Riders matchup could be the game of the week in the CFL as Saskatchewan looks to solidify their playoff standing while the Elks are hoping to inch closer and possibly reel in the Riders. Even though the Riders are three games up on the Elks, Edmonton has played them tough this season and the third and final meeting of the season for the two clubs should be close. But stranger things have happened. This is the CFL we’re talking about. And that’s what makes the league so great.

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Dale Bochon Reporter
A fan of the CFL for over 4 decades, Dale Bochon's background is in marketing writing where he worked with the Edmonton Football Club, the Edmonton Oilers and the Edmonton Rush of the NLL.
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