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Elks take winning mindset into rematch with Stampeders

Sportsnaut
Sep 14, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Stampeders head coach Dave Dickenson looks on from the sideline against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the first half during a Canadian Football League game at McMahon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Elks returned a late fumble for the winning touchdown Friday, and more signs about whether the play will help recover their season might come Thursday night against the visiting Calgary Stampeders.

The Elks (1-3) earned their first victory of the season, 29-25 over the host Hamilton Tiger-Cats, when Scott Hutter forced quarterback Dane Evans to fumble with 1:38 left in the fourth quarter. The football fell to Jalen Collins, who took it 14 yards for the winning touchdown.

The Elks forced four turnovers over the final 17 minutes in the comeback victory in which they trailed 22-9 with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.

“We simplified what we were going to do and just let them pin their ears back a little bit and go rush the quarterback,” Elks coach Chis Jones said. “And they did a real nice job in our four-man and three-man rush packages of winning their one-on-one battles and getting to the quarterback.”

The Stampeders (3-0) will be playing their first game since defeating the visiting Elks 30-23 on June 25, coming back for the victory with a 20-10 second-half scoring advantage.

After facing their former teammate in Elks quarterback Nick Arbuckle, it appears that the Stampeders will be facing Edmonton’s rookie quarterback Tre Ford on Thursday. Ford started over Arbuckle last week.

Ford was 15-of-26 passing for 159 yards against Hamilton and ran for 61 yards on six carries in his first CFL start. The 24-year-old was a first-round selection in the 2022 CFL draft.

Stampeders coach Dave Dickenson said he has more than just a passing familiarity with Ford.

“We’re familiar with him because we worked hard on the draft process,” Dickenson said. “I think he’s young but he’s confident. You can tell he enjoys the game and we’ve just got to make sure we’re tight on our details. He’ll make his plays, he can throw, and he can run, so challenge him.”

Stampeders wide receiver Richie Sindani (hamstring) has been ruled out for the game Thursday. Elks fullback Tanner Green (core muscle) and offensive lineman Cole Nelson (hand) also have been ruled out.

–Field Level Media