CALGARY — Trevor Harris threw for four touchdowns and 398 yards en route to the Edmonton Elks’ Mark’s Labour Day Weekend 32-2- win over the Calgary Stampeders.
With history not on their side, the Elks’ offence saw a handful of players chip in to a total team effort win. Seeing four different receivers accumulate 50 yards or more and connecting with seven different receivers, the vertical passing game was too much for Calgary. Leading the category on the day was Mike Jones, who finished with 107 yards and a touchdown.
In the loss, Jake Maier threw for his third consecutive 300-yard game and completed over 60 per cent of his passes on the night.
THE EDMONTON ELKS WON IN CALGARY ON LABOUR DAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2011 (PHOTO: GOELKS.COM)
After Calgary’s Rene Paredes opened the game’s scoring with a 38-yard field goal attempt, the Elks looked to respond.
Starting on his own 35-yard line, Harris shared the love to his trio of wide receivers. After he connected with James Wilder at the Calgary 46, an offside call on Calgary’s Chris Odom would have the Elks set up shop at midfield. The next play would highlight Harris’ arm talent as he found a streaking Ernest Edwards along the right sideline. Edwards would beat his man and haul in the homerun ball for his first CFL touchdown.
The ensuing Stampeders’ drive would stall out after a pass intended for Kamar Jordan was broken up by the Elks’ secondary and Edmonton regained possession. While they would work themselves down to the Calgary 41-yard line, Sean Whyte missed a 48-yard field goal attempt that was returned by Calgary’s Josh Huff for 16 yards.
After Huff made a toe-tapping catch along the sideline during a Stamps’ drive that came up scoreless, Edmonton’s Greg Ellingson would be Harris’ favourite target as he recorded 42 receiving yards on back-t0-back catches. Harris found Jones on the long ball, giving Edmonton another chance to score. Jalen Toliver was found open in the end zone as Harris delivered a strike, giving the Elks a 14-3 lead.
Calgary got the game’s first rushing touchdown as Ka’Deem Carey rumbled his way into the end zone, which capped off an eight-play, 86-yard drive kept alive by a roughing the passer penalty.
Edmonton’s next possession came up empty as Whyte missed his second field goal attempt, this time from 35 yards out.
During the third quarter, a spot pass interference call against Edmonton’s Jordan Hoover would give Maier and the Stamps’ offence a prime opportunity to score. After Maier found Jordan on a drag route moving from right to left for a gain of 14 yards, Markeith Ambles would be Maier’s next target. After hauling in his fifth catch of the day for a touchdown, Calgary claimed its first lead of the game, going up 17-14.
Calgary’s lead would last all of two minutes as a quick Edmonton drive ended with Whyte being good from 36 yards out, making his first field goal on the day.
Another costly Elk penalty would result in Stampeders’ points as during the final play of the third quarter as another defensive pass interference flag spawned a 26-yard swing for the Stamps. On a second-and-goal, Maier was swarmed from the snap, forcing him to throw the ball through the end zone to avoid the sack. Paredes would make good on the 17-yard chip shot, reclaiming the Stamps’ lead.
After being leading the charge for the Elks’ backfield, Wilder chipped in with the passing game as he was found on Harris’ seventh straight completion, leaping into the goal line pylon to give the Elks a 24-20 lead and the game’s fourth lead change.
Following a missed Calgary field goal attempt, Harris would not hesitate to continue to push the ball downfield towards the end zone. This time, it was Jones who would be the target, as he hauled in a 52-yard touchdown, expanding the Elks’ lead and sealing it for Edmonton.
The second chapter of the Battle of Alberta will commence between these two teams next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.