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Edmonton Elks searching for redemption over Roughriders after slim losses

‘That they had beat us by one level on the little error I had. However subsequent recreation, man, I hope they kick it to me’

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One yard.

One level.

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The Edmonton Elks couldn’t have picked slimmer margins to lose by of their earlier two video games towards the Saskatchewan Roughriders this season.

Dealing with first-and-goal from the one yard-line, solely to be denied on three straight makes an attempt to attain the go-ahead landing late within the season-opener made the distinction in a 17-13 loss.

And who can overlook the 95-yard kickoff by Brett Lauther that sailed over the pinnacle of Elks return man C.J. Sims, an American rookie who didn’t notice leaving the ball in the long run zone of a Canadian Soccer League subject within the ultimate minute of a tied recreation would spell the defeat in a 12-11 loss?

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Quick-forward to Friday’s rematch in Regina (7:30 p.m., TSN, 630 CHED) and people two narrowest of victories make up the distinction between Saskatchewan sitting in third place within the West Division, at 6-6, and the Elks sitting final at 3-10. Had they gone the opposite approach, the Elks can be in third place proper now forward of each the Roughriders and Calgary Stampeders.

It’s woulda-coulda-shoulda pondering, to make certain. However on the identical time, the Elks can’t be blamed for having that thought wedged at the back of their minds over this week of preparation.

“Yeah, I do take into consideration that typically,” Elks operating again Kevin Brown stated. “However it’s over with and accomplished, so that you’ve simply acquired to give attention to the longer term.

“We’re positively prepared for it, clear up some stuff that we’ve labored on. Polish some issues. So, we’re positively able to take it to them.”

It regarded to Sims like his future in inexperienced and gold might need been unsure after the newest outcome towards the Roughriders.

“With this recreation, after how they acquired us final time, I really feel like our particular groups have gotten to step up large for us to get an excellent win,” stated the 28-year-old product of New Mexico Highlands, whose Welcome-to-the-CFL second little question led to shouting at tv screens throughout Edmonton. “That they had beat us by one level on the little error I had.

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“However subsequent recreation, man, I hope they kick it to me.”

Whereas he’s averaging a suitable 10 yards per punt return and 20 yards per kick return, Sims has on a couple of event come near breaking out an Elks return recreation that has turn out to be all however stagnant over latest years.

“If our blockers simply maintain their block for a couple of seconds, I feel I’ll break one, for certain,” Sims stated. “I really feel like one’s coming, for certain, this weekend.”

If that’s the case, it will break a touchdown-return rut that extends all the way in which again to Elks head coach and normal supervisor Chris Jones’ first cease in Edmonton, which ended up in a Gray Cup championship all the way in which again in 2015.

As for arising one yard quick on opening day to set the tone — whether or not they knew it or not — for the 0-9 begin to comply with, it must be identified the short-yardage points the Elks suffered by means of earlier on within the yr have since been found out.

And it seems the answer was proper beneath their nostril all the time.

Again to start with, then-starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius would give approach in short-yardage conditions to then-backup Kai Locksley, who was stuffed back-to-back-to-back within the game-winning goal-line stand by the Roughriders. Not surprisingly, Locksley misplaced confidence in his skill to select up the final essential yard and finally discovered his approach onto the Hamilton Tiger-Cats roster.

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Since Tre Ford has ascended to the beginning function, Cornelius has taken over quick yardage for the Elks and has confirmed greater than able to getting his six-foot-five body throughout the goal-line.

In the event that they solely knew then what they know now.

“Taylor’s been only a true professional the final 5 or 6 weeks, he’s actually taken on that function and accomplished an ideal job in brief yardage for us,” stated beginning centre Mark Korte, recent off signing a three-year contract extension together with his hometown Elks. “Big man, and type of is aware of the best way to discover the gaps in there.

“It’s type of its personal talent in itself, doing that short-yardage quarterback stuff. And he’s actually figured it out.”

Recently, the Elks offensive line has had their sights set a lot farther than one yard, having blocked their option to 223 speeding yards in final week’s win over the Calgary Stampeders.

“It was nice to have a recreation like that, to have the ability to run the ball properly,” Korte stated. “I feel we’ve had a couple of good weeks of operating the ball. Kevin’s enjoying at a excessive degree proper now. It’s nice to see that a part of our recreation is admittedly coming collectively.”

And it’s all pointing to some potential payback towards the Roughriders by an Elks squad that’s coming in having gained three of their previous 4.

“Such as you stated, just a little redemption,” Korte agreed. “Hold operating the ball properly, maintain doing what we do greatest, put Tre into some good spots to succeed and get a win.”

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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