On a riveting Sunday, Canadian quarterback Tre Ford showcased an exceptional performance as he led the Edmonton Elks to a triumphant 30-20 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks. Ford, in his commanding display, passed for 317 yards, nailed a touchdown and swiftly ran one in himself to end the Elks’ harsh home drought.
The landmark win shattered a 22-game home losing streak for the Elks—an infamous record in North American professional sports history—reclaiming the torch from Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Browns, who experienced 20 consecutive home defeats in 1953 before transitioning into the Baltimore Orioles the following season.
Rewinding back to October 12, 2019, that is when the Elks last savored a win at home. This swiping victory also marks their inaugural win at Commonwealth Stadium since the team transitioned from being called the Eskimos.
The Elks, following a dispiriting start of nine straight losses in the Canadian Football League (CFL) season, appears to have breathed life into their campaign, winning two in a row now.
Conversely, Ottawa Redblacks’ voyage seems to be steering towards rough seas, as they’ve suffered their fifth consecutive loss, setting them at a disappointing 3-8 standing.
After a rather quiet first quarter where only a punt single registered for Ottawa, the Elks seized the opportunity to draw first blood. Ford masterfully darted eight yards into the end zone a minute into the second quarter, sounding the horns of victory.
The Redblacks might have answered with a 46-yard Lewis Ward field goal, but the Elks quickly regained those points when Dean Faithfull fired a 17-yard field goal with three minutes remaining in the second.
Highlighting the first half’s coda, a formidable Ford-to-Eugene Lewis deep throw ended with Lewis overpowering defender Brandin Dandridge, before sprinting into the end zone for a grand 66-yard touchdown, putting the Elks ahead 17-5 at halftime.
Ford, a University of Waterloo graduate, maintained his fiery momentum, launching a kinetic 68-yard pass to Gavin Cobb, who sprinted to the three, setting up a short-yardage touchdown by backup QB Taylor Cornelius.
However, Ottawa chipped the lead yet again with a 53-yard field goal by Ward. Faithfull responded with a 38-yarder for Edmonton, effectively adding to the growing lead.
The Redblacks managed to start the fourth with their first major as QB Dustin Crum cleverly handed the ball off to Devonte Williams, who swiftly dodged a tackle and cruised 23 yards for the touchdown. But their score increase was mild as the two-point convert attempt came up short.
Faithfull extended Edmonton’s lead with a 29-yard field goal with just three minutes remaining. Ottawa did manage to close in the score within the last minute when Tyrell Pigrome sprinted on a one-yard QB keeper, neglecting the failed two-point convert attempt.
The upcoming games see the Redblacks enjoying a bye week, while the Elks set their sights on the Stampeders in Calgary come Labour Day Monday.