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Energized Elks aim to subdue Roughriders

Jun 17, 2023; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Edmonton Elks defensive back Dwayne Thompson II (37) tackles BC Lions receiver Alexander Hollins (13) in the first half in at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The resurgent Edmonton Elks will try to avoid a season sweep by the host Saskatchewan Roughriders when they meet Friday night in Regina.

The Roughriders (6-6) narrowly took the first two meetings, winning 17-13 in the June 11 season opener in Edmonton and 12-11 in the July 6 rematch at home.

But those contests came during Edmonton’s disastrous 0-9 start to the season. The Elks (3-10) have since won three of four, including a come-from-behind 25-23 victory against the Calgary Stampeders last Saturday.

The Elks scored 18 unanswered points to wipe out the Stampeders’ 23-7 fourth-quarter lead, winning it on a 42-yard field goal by Dean Faithfull as time expired.

Kevin Brown rushed 15 times for 143 yards and a touchdown for Edmonton. Tre Ford passed for 173 yards and a score and ran for 82 yards.

“We were saying it all season, just keep chipping away, keep chopping the wood. It’s going to come,” Brown told the Edmonton Sun. “And it’s finally here. We stayed true to what we believe in as a whole group, as a whole staff, and it’s showing now.”

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan is smarting after a 51-6 rout by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last Saturday. The Bombers outgained the Riders 603-203.

With six games left in the regular season, there is no time to wallow if the Roughriders want to stay on course for a playoff berth.

“The guys are totally focused on Edmonton,” Saskatchewan coach Craig Dickenson said Tuesday. “They know how big this game is in the standings.”

The Roughriders have allowed the most points (353) in the CFL this season. Only the Elks (244) have scored fewer points than Saskatchewan (248).

Edmonton will be without receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. (ribs) and defensive backs Jeremie Dominique (hamstring) and Marloshawn Franklin Jr. (hamstring). Saskatchewan quarterback Mason Fine practiced Tuesday and Wednesday but remains out with a hamstring injury, while wideout Jake Wieneke is a healthy scratch.

–Field Level Media