Coming into Friday’s Canada Day matchup the Elks and Tiger-Cats were both 0-3 and were teams that had been defined by their mistakes. The winner of this game would be the team that made the least amount of errors, and it would be important to take advantage of scoring opportunities. What resulted was a microcosm of the issues that both teams have been facing in 2022. Both teams made mistakes, turnover, and missed opportunities, but ultimately one team made more mistakes. The Elks were the next team to benefit from the Tiger-Cats inability to protect the ball and finish games. The Tiger-Cats keep reliving the same nightmare as they can build an early lead and then slowly relinquish that lead while turning the ball over and finding exciting ways to give up points to their opponent. With that in mind let’s review how this game led to the Elk’s first win of the 2022 season, and continue to define the Tiger-Cats with their own mistakes.
The Tiger-Cats had the first offensive possession of the game and were stopped by the Elk’s defence. But Tiger-Cats punter Simon Laryea boomed a 60-yard punt pinning the Elks on their 7-yard line. The Elks were unable to move the ball and had to punt from their end zone. Edmonton elected to take a safety on the punt and surrender 2 points at 12:29. On the next possession, the Tiger-Cats quarterback Dane Evans was able to throw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Steven Dunbar Jr and took a 9-0 lead after a convert by Michael Domagala. The Elks then took the next kickoff and went on a long drive which ended with a 1 yard rush by quarterback Kai Locksley to score a touchdown, but a missed convert by Sergio Castillo kept the Elks at a deficit of 9-6. On the next kickoff, Edmonton was penalized twice, a roughness call and an offsides call and ended up kicking off from their 10-yard line. That kickoff was then returned for a 72-yard touchdown by Tiger-Cats returner Lawrence Woods, giving the Tiger-Cats a 16-6 lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Both teams traded possessions, but at 5:23 left in the quarter, the Elks attempted a 59-yard field goal. Sergio Castillo missed the field goal but the Tiger-Cat’s Lawrence Woods was unable to get the ball out of the end zone surrendering a single bringing the score to 16-7. The Tiger-Cats offence was then able to drive the ball but had to settle for a 25-yard Michael Domagala field goal extending the lead to 10 points. Both the Elks and Tiger-Cats both had an additional possession but at 58 seconds left the Tiger-Cats had to punt from their 4-yard line. The Tiger-Cats decided to have Tunde Adeleke take a safety bringing the score to 19-9 at the end of the 1st half.
The Tiger-Cats opened the 3rd quarter with a missed 54-yard field goal, but they were able to stop the Elks, and at 6:06, Michael Domagala hit a 32-yard field goal. In the next possession, the Elks responded with a solid offensive possession and Sergio Castillo was able to successfully kick a 38-yard field goal bringing the score to 22-12 in favor of the Tiger-Cats. On the next possession, Dane Evans turned the ball over by throwing an interception to Elks defender Brady Sheldon at their 40-yard line. The Elks were able to capitalize with a 32-yard field goal closing the points gap to 22-15.
On the first offensive possession of the 4th quarter Tiger-Cats quarterback, Dane Evans threw an interception to the Elks Matthew Thomas at their 47-yard line. Elks quarterback Tre Ford was then able to complete a scoring drive by throwing a 10-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kenny Lawler tying the score at 22-22. The Tiger-Cats responded with a long drive but had to settle for a 33-yard field goal allowing them to regain the lead at 25-22. Hamilton was then able to get a defensive stop giving the Tiger-Cats offense a chance to extend the lead. But on the first play of that drive, Dane Evans was stripped by Elks defender Jalen Collins and was returned for a defensive touchdown giving the Elks a 29-25 lead. The Tiger-Cats had one final possession to have a chance to win the game but then turned the ball over on downs on the Edmonton 13-yard line after an incomplete Evans pass intended for Tyler Ternowski.
Final Score: Elks (1-3) 29 Tiger-Cats (0-4) 25
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