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5 THINGS: Edmonton Elks proceed last-ditch push towards playoffs

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After an 0-9 begin to the season through which they’d been written off by many lengthy earlier than then, the Edmonton Elks nonetheless cling to life.

All 4 of their wins on the 12 months have come within the final 5 video games, which, whereas nonetheless including as much as a paltry 4-10 file, nonetheless has them within the post-season hunt at a time when six of the league’s 9 groups have dropping information.

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Right here’s what we’ve realized following Friday’s 36-27 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who have been the primary opponent the Elks beat this 12 months who didn’t are available with a dropping file:

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Who says the three-down recreation isn’t geared towards the run recreation?

The Elks have flipped the script relating to gaining yards on the bottom right here on this passing league.

On Friday, they rushed for 265 yards in comparison with 183 via the air, persevering with a development for the third week in a row that has seen them outrush the cross, 730 yards to 512.

In truth, since Tre Ford took over at beginning quarterback popping out of the bye week six video games in the past, the Elks have solely handed for six extra yards than the 1,231 they’ve rushed for, averaging an unimaginable 205 yards on the bottom per recreation in that span.

The league’s high dashing crew on the season, the West Division-leading Winnipeg Blue Bombers, have been averaging 135 yards heading into their recreation towards the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday.


An enormous a part of the Elks success within the dashing recreation has been the addition of Ford, whose fleet toes not solely add to the full on the bottom, but additionally maintain defences trustworthy relating to overlaying the speedy quarterback’s capacity to navigate up one sideline or the opposite. That has opened up lanes up the center for Kevin Brown, who has been having a heyday just lately.

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After posting a career-high 143 dashing yards in a win over the Calgary Stampeders within the Labour Day Rematch, the Incarnate Phrase product adopted up by eclipsing his personal complete with a 175-yard efficiency behind the driving pressure of his offensive line Friday.

And simply when the defence will get dialed in on stopping the run, the Elks nonetheless have the power to take to the air, as freshly minted offensive co-ordinator Jarious Jackson retains them guessing via complementary play calling.


Edmonton’s latest surge within the standings might very effectively show too little, too late, and has already left a lot of their followers questioning why the change to Ford wasn’t made a lot sooner within the course of than when head coach and common supervisor Chris Jones’ squad was already 0-8.

However that’s placing the cart earlier than the horse, in accordance with one veteran CFL personnel man.

“Chris deserves large kudos for drafting him and his growth,” the supply mentioned of Ford being chosen eighth total final 12 months, after Jones parlayed the first-overall choose right into a pair of first-rounders who’re already starters. “Ford is a younger, extra athletic model of Damon Allen.

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“It’s superb watching him.”


Whereas on the subject of Jones, an enormous a part of the Elks’ newfound capacity to shut out video games needs to be credited to the defensive co-ordinator’s unit developing with some huge, well timed stops within the fourth quarter, which have both contributed to Edmonton’s personal comeback effort or stymied that of their opponent.

And there was none greater or timelier that the protection on a sack by defensive lineman Sam Acheampong with two minutes left within the fourth quarter.

The six-foot-five, 270-pound Wilfrid Laurier product latched onto Roughriders quarterback Jake Dolegala after a coffin-corner punt by Jake Julien had him snapping the ball in his personal finish zone. Fellow Elks defensive lineman Jake Ceresna performed the a part of brick wall to make sure Dolegala didn’t make it again throughout the goal-line, because the essential two factors proved to be the proverbial nail within the aforementioned coffin, pushing Edmonton’s result in two scores.


Simply how far have the Elks come since their bye week?

We’ll discover out on Friday, once they face for the third time a B.C. Lions squad that has shut them out not as soon as, however twice already this season.

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The Elks haven’t solely been shut out of the tip zone, however have failed to succeed in the crimson zone throughout eight full quarters to date. They solely menace of scoring factors Edmonton has even proven was with a 48-yard field-goal try that missed earlier than being run out of the tip zone by Lions return man Terry Williams.

The final end result, a 27-0 shellacking heading into the Week 9 bye, proved to be the swan tune for Stephen McAdoo because the Elks offensive co-ordinator, and former beginning quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who’s proving an efficient weapon in his new short-yardage position, throwing a landing to defensive lineman A.C. Leonard on a trick play Friday to get the Elks on the board within the second quarter.

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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