At first, any Edmonton Elks fan would wonder when the Elks will have a breakout game, or when will they get their 1st win of the 2022 season? After all, the offensive production has been mediocre at best. Some flashes have been shown here and there on Edmonton’s overall performance. But no Edmonton fan would be convinced thus far that the team could have a win total that would be in the high single digits to low double digits at the rate of play the Elks have been in the 2022 season.
And why not?
For the most part, the Elks were going into a hostile environment in Hamilton in which the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have had a great home record since opening their new digs in 2014. This is also a team that has been representing the Eastern Division in back-to-back years in 2019 and 2021 at the Grey Cup (2020 season canceled). Even though the Tiger-Cats are currently 0-3 along with the Elks, this would be a game in which the Tiger-Cats can surely get their 1st win of the season. Simply put, they are the better team even though their record does not show it.
Tre Ford Starts for Week 4
Tre Ford was listed on the depth chart for Week 4 as the starter. Coach Chris Jones decided to give the 2022 1st-Roud Draft Pick his start to shuffle the quarterback situation that has not produced a lot of offense so far this season. With that said, Nick Arbuckle was listed as QB 2, while Kai Locksleywas slotted back at SB as he was in Week 3 vs Calgary. Kai Locksley would still be used in set packages at QB, primarily in short-yardage plays.
Things Did Not Look Good in the 1st Quarter
At the 12:29 mark in the 1st Quarter, the Elks decided to give up a safety in order to maintain a better field position for the ensuing kickoff. It appeared that the offense was not in sync as it has been in the early parts of previous games this season.
Dane Evans would then connect with Steven Dunbar for a 21-yard strike in the end zone at 8:01 extending Hamilton to a 9-0 lead.
Edmonton would counter on their ensuing drive that capped off a 6:27 12-play drive that would conclude a Kai Locksley 1-yard TD run. The Elks now made the game a respectable 9-6 Hamilton lead.
As soon as the Edmonton Elks got momentum in the game, it was handed right back to Hamilton in a special teams play in which Lawrence Woods would score a TD on a 72-yard return. And just like that, it appeared that Hamilton was back in the driver’s seat ending the 1st Quarter with a 16-6 lead.
Edmonton Defense Slowly Began to Take Control
The 2nd Quarter would be minimal scoring in which Sergio Catillo would score on a rouge at the 5:32 mark after missing a 53-yard field goal.
At 1:47 left in the 2nd Quarter, Michael Domagala would connect on a 25-yard field goal.
At the 00:58 mark, and after a 2 and out offensive series, Edmonton would get safety with Hamilton running the ball out of the end zone for better field position. Hamilton would take a 19-9 lead into halftime.
The 3rd Quarter would be a back-and-forth battle between Hamilton and Edmonton. Both teams had consistent long to medium drives that resulted in a lot of time clock management that benefitted both teams. The game had a feeling that one or the other would now begin to take control of a game no matter what the point deficit was for the time being. A 33-yard field goal at the 6:06 mark by Michael Domagala was followed by a pair of field goals by Sergio Castillo. Sergio Castillo would hit from 38-yard at the 3:32 mark followed by a 32-yard field goal at the 00:38 mark. It was all the offense scored in the 3rd Quarter in which Hamilton would lead 22-15 going into the 4th Quarter.
Edmonton’s Defense Closed Out the Game For the Comeback
Luck would have it for Edmonton in a form of a momentum swing to begin the 4th Quarter. Matthew Thomas would come up big on a huge play to open the 4th Quarter picking off Dane Evans. The ball would then be returned 9 yards to the Hamilton 38-yard line. Tre Ford would then hit his favorite target this year in Kenny Lawler for a 10-yard TD catch. Edmonton would then tie the game 22-22.
After a pair of long offensive series by both teams, Michael Domagala would strike on a 33-yard field goal at the 3:34 mark giving the Tiger-Cats a 25-22 lead.
Then the magic happened.
At the 1:47 mark left in the game; Scott Hutter came up with a big play in causing a forced fumble on Dane Evans. This would be capped off with Jalen Collins returning the ball for a 14-yard TD. It was bittersweet for Edmonton in closing out the game and completing a 29-25 comeback victory for their 1st victory of the season.
For this Edmonton victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, they can take great pride with this victory. So far this season, the Edmonton Elks have been very offensively challenged in producing points. It might not have looked good on record, but they made plays when it mattered most. And sometimes football goes that way. Especially when you’re a team looking to find an identity. Sometimes it takes hard work, and never give up mentality to push through to get a result. And that is exactly what the Edmonton Elks did vs the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. They pushed through the adversity and fought till the end.
If there is any hope in any team for that matter that has started off the 2022 season with a dismal start, then look no further than the 2011 BC Lions. The Leos started the season going 0-5, only to complete the season with an 11-7 record and Grey Cup Championship.
Next up for the Edmonton Elks will be a rematch vs the Provincial rivals at home vs. the Calgary Stampeders on Thursday, July 7th, 2022. Edmonton will be looking to erase their recent defeat in week 3 in which Calgary was victorious in a 30-23 victory.
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