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Elks lose 11th straight at home to No. 1 Bombers

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If you haven’t seen it, Friday’s Edmonton Elks game played out the same as the last 10 games at Commonwealth Stadium.

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And you probably didn’t, considering it was another less than stellar turnout to witness yet another home defeat. Official attendance was 22,716 in the stands for Edmonton’s 11th straight now, for everyone.

Falling 24-10 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who remain the only undefeated team in the Canadian Football League at 7-0, the Elks were kept out of the end zone as they drop to 2- 5. They will continue to receive their name in the West Division standings basement suite and will have a week off ahead of them to reflect on their situation.

They didn’t reach the end zone, but the Elks didn’t exactly turn around either.

Plenty of stats were on Edmonton’s side: a possession time of 37:14, 357 yards to 274 and 23 first downs to 12. But the scorecard definitely went Winnipeg’s way, as they also beat Edmonton 5-0 and won the turnover. battle 3-2.

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“There is no consolation prize, we lost 14 points. We’re not a football team that’s smart or disciplined enough to win games when it counts,” said Elks head coach and defensive coordinator Chris Jones, who’s starting to talk like someone who sees losses coming. accumulate. “We had the lead in two games and then this one here we should have had the opportunity to go and win the game and unfortunately for us discipline and intelligence are not things we are strong on. right now.”

Trailing 17-10 midway through the fourth quarter, Edmonton was close to winning the ball back on a punt, only to see Makana Henry flagged for contacting the kicker to extend a drive that ended in a two-yard run by short-range quarterback Dru Brown that put it away for the visitors.

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“For me, it was the most anticipated game of the season,” said Elks wide receiver Kenny Lawler, who had seven catches for a team-record 98 yards against a Bombers team he just played with. win back-to-back Gray Cups. “I know we will have them again. But, yeah, it hurts, man.

“I like the opportunity. I like our guys fighting there. And that’s what it is, I keep saying it over and over, it’s just the end.

Zach Collaros completed just seven of 16 passes for 188 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the visitors, while Taylor Cornelius, in his second start of the season, completed 25 of 42 passes for 270 yards and an interception, while rushing for a team-high 59 yards on 15 carries.

Dalton Schoen of Winnipeg made the most of his four receptions, for a game-high 146 yards and a touchdown.

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Winnipeg took a 10-3 lead in the first quarter, turning an Elks fumble to seven points on an interception by Deatrick Nichols, who caught a pass aimed at Cornelius’ favorite target, Lawler.

As the Elks started the game by forcing Collaros and Co. to a brace on their first practice of the game, returning the ball to them at the Edmonton 26-yard line meant a snap later Rasheed Bailey put on the first seven points on the scoreboard.

And that was the difference after the two teams traded field goals, with a 52-yarder from Edmonton’s Sergio Castillo, while a stoppage in the red zone forced Winnipeg out Marc Liegghio for a 20-yarder to give the Bombers a 10-3 lead going into the second quarter.

After a 44-yard field goal from Castillo to cut Winnipeg’s lead to just four points, Collaros – who entered the game without an interception on his previous 82 pass attempts – was picked up by Tobi Antigha just in the middle of the field. .

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But it was Winnipeg who scored the next score of the game, as Collaros hit Schoen in stride for an 81-yard touchdown that saw him run half while escaping a poor tackle attempt from the receiver-turned-winner. defensive back Duron Carter in his debut for the Elks.

If the fans didn’t boo after that one, they certainly did after Edmonton decided to kneel at the half with three tries to go and 31 seconds left on the clock.

Despite having possession of the ball from 9:20 to 20:40 into two quarters and leading by just 10 net offensive yards, the Bombers took a 17-6 lead in the third quarter.

Edmonton used the first seven minutes of the third quarter to score a red-zone field goal from 27 yards out, only to see Castillo recover another point on a short attempt from 48 yards to shoot 17-10.

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That’s right when Carter recovered from the Goodwill, intercepting an offering from Collaros thrown at Schoen. The Bombers quarterback was four for 12 for 158 yards in that time, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

But the Elks couldn’t turn the second into points either.

After Henry’s penalty, Edmonton also offered the ball to the Bombers at the goal-line gate with a defensive pass interference call on Ed Gainey, which Dru Brown hit in the end zone on a QB goalkeeper for go ahead 24-10 with 2:42 remaining.

It was a reversal of fortune from a week ago, when Edmonton earned a total of 108 penalty yards on defensive pass interference against Montreal.

Right on cue, Winnipeg drew an inadvertent 10-yard pass interference penalty by Demerio Houston on a ball intended for Caleb Holley in the end zone, but the Elks’ drive ended in a turnover on tries .

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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