You couldn’t have asked for a better homecoming for Edmonton Elks Quarterback Tre Ford. In his first CFL start in Hamilton, smack dab in the middle between where he played High School football in Niagara Falls and College ball at Waterloo, Ford led his Edmonton Elks to their first win of the season over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats by a score of 29-25.
Ford threw for 159 yards where he went 15/ 26 with a TD pass to Elks receiver Kenny Lawler and one pick. But most importantly, Ford looked poised for most of his first professional start, and seemed to improve every quarter.
Ford, the 2021 Hec Crighton Trophy winner for most outstanding player in Canadian University Football can thank Elks defensive back Scott Hutter for causing Hamilton quarterback Dane Evans to fumble with 1:38 left in the fourth quarter. The fumble fell directly into the hands of the Elks Jalen Collins who ran the ball into the end zone untouched for a 14-yard touchdown. That was a huge play for the Elks, maybe even a season turning play for a team desperate for wins. The Elks are now 1-3 on the season and are getting ready to host the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday July 7th at 7pm at Commonwealth Stadium.
Can Elks Fans Start Dreaming About the Playoffs?
This is the fourth game in a row that the Elks have shown improvement and they were finally rewarded with a win. If they can manage to beat the Stampeders in their next game, the Elks will inch closer to the top teams in the West with a lot of football to be played yet this season. It’s never wise to count a Chris Jones coached team out too early.
The Makings of Another Solid QB Duo in Edmonton?
One of the main reasons why Ford might have got the start over Nick Arbuckle in Hamilton was the hometown angle of playing in front of family and friends for Ford. It was also a good move for the coaching staff to put him in because of his agility and quickness-especially considering the recent injury to veteran running back James Wilder Jr. The Elks placed Wilder Jr. on the six-game injured list this week with a shoulder injury and are hoping for a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile the coaching staff have two quarterbacks in the rookie Ford and veteran Arbuckle who can keep defensive coordinators around the league guessing. It will be interesting to watch how the two quarterbacks will be utilized in Edmonton. QB duos have done well in the past in Edmonton with Ricky Ray and Jason Maas in the early 2000’s, Damon Allen and Matt Dunnigan in the 80’s, and even Tom Wilkinson with Bruce Lemmerman back in the early 70’s and eventually Wilkinson and Warren Moon later in the decade. (For those fans too young to remember, the Lemmerman/Wilkinson duo helped kick-start the rise of the Edmonton franchise in the 70’s and 80’s after years of heartache in the 60’s). Elks fans could be hoping that history repeats itself with Ford and Arbuckle, and it might be a storyline worth following for Elks fans in the 2022 CFL season.