Five things: The Edmonton Elks didn’t miss a chance against the Roughriders

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The problem with calling Saturday’s game a must-win and treating it like a playoff is, if we lose, where do we go from there?

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The Edmonton Elks reached the halfway point of the season with a 34-23 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Head coach and general was unable to meet the challenge posed by his manager Chris Jones. .

All hope is not necessarily lost, but the Elks are currently in a home and away series against the Ottawa Redblacks, the only team behind them at 1-7. Maybe to the point of no return.

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Saskatchewan has the best 5-4 record of any team in the East and sits fourth in the West as a rock for the crossover spot, representing the Elks’ best chances of making the playoff race. . But it will be difficult to track.

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Edmonton wasted a fourth-quarter lead against the Roughriders for the second time this season — one point both on Saturday and on the road to a 26-16 loss in Week 2, but again, too early. Turnovers and penalties have resulted in the Elks’ home losing streak now growing to 12 games in a row, but they have never beaten an opponent in that division in their last 14 games.

Here’s what I learned from the latest:

they blew it

The Elks got their chance on Saturday. However, during his goal on the Roughriders’ field, Matthew was in possession of Edmonton when he blew the whistle for a questionable ‘pyramiding’ penalty against Thomas, with two minutes remaining and he scored one game. , it was rewritten. ending.

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Instead, an extended drive ended with Saskatchewan scoring a touchdown to put the game out of reach. Again, the Elks wouldn’t have found themselves in that spot had it not been for Taylor Cornelius throwing what became a patented 4th quarter pick in the final three-and-a-half minutes. And let’s not forget Saskatchewan’s botched 5-yard snap on his line in the second quarter.

penalty issue

The Elks lost in the penalty division, being flagged 12 times for 140 yards on nine calls compared to Saskatchewan’s 100 yards. Perhaps most costly was a nasty conduct call that cost Elk the starting right guard in the second half.

Marc Corte was sent off after the whistle alongside Roughrider defensive end Anthony Lanier, scoring a touchdown before losing his cool again four plays after a conversion kick.

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Discipline issues hurt this young team.

ground game

After an impressive come-from-behind win over Montreal in his season debut four games ago, Cornelius was able to lead the Elks in rushing yards this year. He had a season-high 86 for two touchdowns and 178 total yards on 30 rushes.

Of course, James Wilder Jr., Sherman Buddy, and Aunty Liter are all up there, so having a turnstile on the run home won’t solve the problem.

Conversely, Cody Fajardo also led his team on the ground. That means the Elks were able to corral Jamal Morrow, who took the league lead in rushing yards last week but gained just 46 yards on 13 carries on Saturday.

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not a very special team

It’s almost a nail in the coffin when Elk allows a touchdown on a kick return, as he did again on Saturday.

Especially since Jones last coached here in 2015, their own return game has had nothing resembling the Hammer.

They booted their own door with a 98-yard kickoff return that complemented Mario Alford in a busy final minute of the second quarter that added 17 points to the scoreboard.

Speaking of which, has anyone seen Merritt Borden? However, there was no announcement from the club. Others or alternatives.

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Locksley the Key?

With rookie quarterback Tre Ford (clavicle) on the six-game injured list, questions arise as the team looks for answers.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 210-pound Texas El Paso native played here after being named America’s Top Junior College Player as a quarterback. And while he’s lined up in his yards at Elks short and depth on his charts as a direct backup to Cornelius, his primary role is starting slotback, and this year he’s 184. His fourth-best receiver on the team by yards. with 12 catches. He’s also primarily a QB keeper with 5 touchdowns and 54 yards on 21 carries.

After going 18-24 for 209 yards with interceptions in the preseason, Locksley went 5-7 for 50 yards on mop-up duty in a crushing loss to the Calgary Stampeders in Week 5.

After all, what does Elk have to lose?


On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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Five things: The Edmonton Elks didn’t miss a chance against the Roughriders

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