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Barnes: Entertaining however expensive 37-29 loss to B.C. places Elks on final legs

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It’s the type of recreation a Canadian Soccer League group can afford to lose in June.

As a result of a wildly entertaining tilt between West Division foes held early within the season at Commonwealth Stadium, when hope and hype are equally plentiful, would have introduced Elks followers out of their seats and proper again into them for the very subsequent residence recreation.

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Edmonton and B.C. lit up the Commonwealth scoreboard with 66 mixed factors on Friday evening, and 29 got here from the house group, which might usually be sufficient for a victory. And the way about these massive performs; six of them, all for greater than 40 yards apiece? B.C.’s Terry Williams legged a punt again 68 yards, whereas Lions’ receivers Jevon Cottoy and Keon Hatcher every had 57-yard catch-and-run performs; Edmonton DB Kai Grey went 56 unimpeded yards for a pick-six, the primary of his profession; Lions operating again Taquon Mizzell knifed by way of the Elks’ defence for 48 yards and a TD; and Elks’ DB Loucheiz Purifoy took a kick-off again 42 yards.

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That’s 328 yards of jaw-dropping soccer proper there. There was a blocked punt by B.C. and one other Edmonton interception, too.

“We performed our asses off,” mentioned Edmonton linebacker Nyles Morgan, who made a game-high 12 defensive tackles. “After all we gave up stuff. After all, (expletive) occurs, that’s soccer. However to have a look at one other man throughout the road from you and see the valour in his eyes; he wished it simply as a lot as you. That’s the place the harm is available in. However we’re warriors you understand. We’re constructed for this. We’re going to make use of this as a pedestal to make us higher for the following recreation.”

If that thrill-a-minute contest was performed in Commonwealth’s confines on the finish of June, Morgan might stay up for many extra significant battles with valorous foes this 12 months. Elks coaches might have studied the movie, admitted they have been flummoxed on defence for quite a lot of causes within the first quarter, and regarded forward with loads of confidence that they might get it proper the following time.

As a result of there was a lot to love about the way in which they saved preventing again right into a recreation they trailed 21-7 early.

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“It’s conviction,” continued Morgan. “When guys resolve they aren’t going to lie down, that we’re going to be the higher group, you see video games like this. Even once they’re up (14) factors, we didn’t flinch, and I’m very happy with all the blokes on defence, the entire group. The best way we fought again, they know who we’re. We all know too.”

Everyone is aware of the Elks should not have the posh of even a high quality loss anymore. After dropping each single recreation within the first half of their season, and stinking the joint out in means too lots of them, they whittled their margin of error all the way down to a razor sharp edge that has now minimize them to the bone. They set themselves up for failure and it’s coming quickly, sarcastically at a time when they’re taking part in their finest soccer, give or take that horrendous first quarter when it appeared B.C. had been given an correct copy of the Edmonton recreation plan.

“The toughest factor to just accept was us popping out flat, giving up 21 factors within the first quarter. That’s the toughest factor as a defence,” mentioned Edmonton DB Ed Gainey. “It’s skilled soccer. B.C. is a well-prepared group, well-coached group. They got here in with a recreation plan. They knew what we have been going to run within the first few performs of the sport I suppose on offence and defence and took benefit of it. Kudos to them for doing their homework and figuring out what (protection) we have been going to be in.”

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This loss basically ends the Elks’ late dalliance with a playoff spot. Certain, the mathematics says it isn’t fairly over, however logic screams one thing else completely. And in the event that they lose once more, they’re in actual fact achieved.

“And we solely did it to ourselves,” mentioned Morgan. “It’s as much as us to crawl out of the darkish and into the sunshine and make the strides we have to make to be able to be one of the best group. As a result of we’re proper there with each group. We’re going to make use of the bye week to get wholesome, get proper and are available again able to whup ass.”

If solely such a romantic notion have been related. They will come again to whup ass in Toronto, residence towards Montreal and in Winnipeg, and nonetheless be eradicated from playoff competition, as a result of they will solely get to seven wins. Each Montreal and Hamilton are 6-7. If, or extra seemingly when every of them wins another recreation, the Elks might be eradicated from competition for an East Division crossover playoff spot. The Ticats and Als play each other on Oct. 28, so one in every of them is assured that seventh win.

And as quickly as Saskatchewan additionally will get to seven — they’re 6-8 after shedding in Ottawa on Friday — the Elks might be on the skin wanting in at a West division playoff berth as properly. Their simply desserts could have been served and Edmonton reworked into next-year nation as soon as once more.

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