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Ford, returning WR Lewis look to safe Edmonton Elks first win of season

A plus for Elks QB Tre Ford would be the return of receiver Geno Lewis (knee)

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Tre Ford is returning to the scene of his first win as a CFL beginning quarterback.

The 2021 Hec Crighton Trophy winner will make his second straight begin and fifth general Thursday night time when the Edmonton Elks (0-9) go to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (3-5).

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Final yr, the six-foot-one, 185-pound Niagara Falls, Ont., native rallied his workforce to a 29-25 victory at Tim Hortons Area in his first CFL begin.

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It’s been a tough go this season for Edmonton, which is using a CFL-record 22-game house shedding streak (relationship again to ’19). The Elks have dropped 13 straight general, tying a membership file.

And earlier this week, president Victor Cui and the Elks agreed to half methods.

Edmonton began sturdy final week, surging to a shocking 22-0 lead over Winnipeg, which additionally misplaced beginning quarterback Zach Collaros (neck) within the course of. However backup Dru Brown was an efficient 17-of-24 passing for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns in rallying the Blue Bombers to a 38-29 victory.

Ford completed 12-of-16 passing for 189 yards with a TD and interception for Edmonton. He additionally ran 5 instances for 50 yards and a landing.

This can mark the second matchup this season between these two groups. Final month, the Ticats scored 24 factors over the second and third quarters en path to a 37-29 victory at Commonwealth Stadium.

Operating again James Butler was a key determine for Hamilton. He ran for 127 yards and a TD on 14 carries whereas including three receptions for 40 yards.

Veteran quarterback Matt Shiltz began for Hamilton earlier than leaving within the third quarter with an damage. Rookie Taylor Powell got here on in reduction, finishing two-of-four passes for 47 yards and a landing.

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That could possibly be vital, as Powell will make a 3rd straight begin for Hamilton with each Shiltz and incumbent Bo Levi Mitchell on the six-game injured record.

Butler could possibly be a key determine once more for Hamilton as senior assistant coach Scott Milanovich will deal with play-calling duties Thursday. Final week, offensive co-ordinator Tommy Condell and the membership mutually parted methods.

The transfer wasn’t shocking given Hamilton’s offensive struggles this season. The Ticats enter this week averaging simply 17.8 offensive factors per sport and tied for the CFL lead in each turnovers (25) and interceptions (14).

Milanovich, who was the CFL’s coach of the yr in 2012 after guiding Toronto to a Gray Cup title, is a agency believer within the significance of a operating sport. And with a rookie quarterback, the expectation is the institution of the bottom assault can be a focus for Milanovich.

Hamilton is averaging a CFL-worst 76.1 yards dashing per sport this season, however Edmonton’s defence is ranked final general in offensive yards allowed (400.3) and dashing yards (144.1).

Then once more, neither offence has been a juggernaut this season. Edmonton is ranked final general in offensive factors per sport (13.4), with Hamilton standing eighth (17.8).

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A plus for Ford, although, would be the return of receiver Geno Lewis (knee). The East Division’s excellent participant final season has solely appeared in three video games this season for Edmonton, registering 11 catches for 200 yards and a TD.

Edmonton’s quarterback within the first matchup with Hamilton was Taylor Cornelius. He had two interceptions in that contest, together with a pick-six to Stavros Katsantonis.

Hamilton, which had final week off, has received six straight coming off the bye whereas CFL groups are 9-2 general. Then once more, the Ticats are 1-3 at Tim Hortons Area this yr whereas Edmonton is 0-4 on the street.

Choose: Hamilton.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers versus Calgary Stampeders (Friday night time)

At Calgary, all eyes are on Winnipeg (7-2) concerning the standing of veteran starter Collaros. He suffered an upper-body damage early in final week’s win over Edmonton and didn’t return. However Brown stepped in admirably in rallying the Bombers to the victory, which is able to solely assist him if he begins this sport. The Stampeders (3-6) not solely misplaced the primary assembly 24-11 final month however are coming off a lopsided 37-9 street loss to B.C. They’re additionally simply 1-3 at house this yr and 1-4 inside the West Division.

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Choose: Winnipeg.

Montreal Alouettes versus Ottawa Redblacks (Saturday night time)

At Ottawa, Dustin Crum comes off his greatest passing efficiency of the season for the Redblacks (3-5), finishing 21-of-26 makes an attempt for 292 yards and three TDs in Sunday’s 44-31 loss in Toronto. Montreal (5-3) is using a three-game win streak and is 3-1 inside the division in comparison with 0-4 for the house workforce, which has additionally dropped three straight. Veteran starter Cody Fajardo is once more a game-time resolution after lacking final week’s 41-12 house victory over Saskatchewan with accidents.

Choose: Montreal.

B.C. Lions versus Saskatchewan Roughriders (Sunday night time)

At Vancouver, the Lions (7-2) look to enhance to 5-0 at B.C. Place after dispatching Calgary there final week. Vernon Adams Jr. accomplished 23-of-32 passes for 322 yards and 4 TDs after lacking two weeks with a knee damage. The defence didn’t permit an offensive TD for the fifth time this season and fourth at house. That doesn’t bode properly for Saskatchewan (4-5), which acquired veteran quarterback Antonio Pipkin from Hamilton this week after Mason Effective (hamstring) was damage final week. If he can’t play, Jake Dolegala will doubtless begin.

Choose: B.C.

Final week: 4-0.

Total: 29-10.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Aug. 16, 2023.

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