EDMONTON – An assertive all-around performance from the Montreal Alouettes guided them to their first win of the season, knocking off the Elks 30-13.
While Montreal’s offence certainly did their job, it was the performance of their special teams that put the game away for them early. Racking up 161 punt-return yards, Mario Alford was able to score and put the Als in a favourable position for their offence.
When called upon, Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 211 yards, rushed for 29 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. For Trevor Harris, the struggles continued as he threw for 233 yards and a touchdown.
Coming off a touchdown-less performance against the Ottawa REDBLACKS, the Edmonton Elks looked to get back into the win column against the Montreal Alouettes.
To do just that they leaned heavily on the talents of James Wilder Jr. in their opening drive. Wilder Jr., who was coming off an 89-yard rushing performance in Week 1, was fed the ball five times in the Elks opening drive as the Green and Gold marched their way through the Als defence.
Just as when it looked like Trevor Harris and the Elks offence would capitalize, Montreal had a different idea as a near interception on the goal-line forced Edmonton to settle for a Sean Whyte field goal: something they were forced to do four times against Ottawa.
After, Vernon Adams would find Jake Wieneke for a touchdown, putting the Als up.
The struggles continued in the red zone for Edmonton.
After, Wilder Jr. continued to find wide-open patches of green grass generated by the Elks’ offensive line. This saw them be just a yard away from a fresh set of downs in Montreal territory. Opting to ditch the chip-shot field goal and elect to go for it, Harris lined up under centre. Harris would fumble the initial snap, turning the ball over.
That would be the beginning of a second-quarter the Elks would like to forget as they began to unravel.
It would begin after a David Cote would split the uprights on the ensuing Montreal possession. Things would only get worse for the Elks as on a punt return, Mario Alford followed his blocks all the way to the endzone for an 86-yard touchdown. At the mercy of the quarter-ending whistles, the Elks found themselves down 20-3 as boos rained down on them as they looked to collect themselves at the half.
Try as they might to claw back, Montreal kept their foot on the gas looking as if they were the team that had played the week prior.
Pushing the ball downfield Vernon Adams kept the Elks defence at bay while William Stanback, who rushed for 121 yards, kept the clock ticking along. Adams would find B.J. Cunningham in the end zone during the fourth quarter to pad their lead.
Entering Saturday’s matchup, the eyes were on the matchup between Almondo Sewell and Trevor Harris as earlier Sewell did not speak about his former teammate too kindly. Sewell was active in the Elks backfield, almost to a fault has he was flagged for roughing Harris on a play that had a pick-six overturned.
Sewell and his defensive linemates made it incredibly hard for Harris and the Elks offence to get anything going in the second half, making the deficit look un-erasable with each passing minute and recorded a sack in the fourth quarter.
Not all was bad for the Elks as Harris and the Elks’ offence would prove to themselves that they can score. With two minutes left, Harris would find Shai Ross to snap their touchdown-less streak but time would run out.
Next up for the Alouettes will be a date with the Calgary Stampeders on Friday. The Elks, on short rest, will tangle with the BC Lions on Thursday.