Edmonton Elks end road trip Friday against B.C. Lions Friday in season finale

Three different cities. Three different time zones. Three different climates. Over 6,800 kilometres travelled to Regina and Toronto and it comes to an end on Friday night in Vancouver.

The Edmonton Elks will play their final game of the 2021 CFL season against the Lions from B.C. Place.

Read more: Wilder Jr. and Whyte lead list of Elks’ team nominees for CFL awards

The matchup with the Lions will be between two teams who will not make the playoffs in 2021. The winner of the game will secure fourth place in the West. The Elks will finish 2021 in fourth place or lower for the third straight season.

“There’s nothing meaningless about this game,” head coach Jamie Elizondo said.

“This gives us an opportunity to get our fourth win and if we do that, we’ll be tied with B.C. for the win-loss record, but we will have the tie-breaker over them so, there’s a lot to this game. It’s also the last game of the year for both teams so you always want to remember it as a win.”

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The Elks started their trip with a 29-24 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders last Saturday in Regina before snapping their eight-game losing streak on Tuesday night in Toronto with a 13-7 win over the Argos.

Read more: Cornelius scores rushing TD to lead Edmonton Elks to 13-7 win over Toronto Argonauts

Getting to the opposing quarterback has been strength for the Elks lately. After going through a previous five-game stretch of recording just four sacks, the Elks have recorded 16 sacks over their last five games. Defensive end Thomas Costigan recorded two sacks on Tuesday against the Argos, raising his team-leading total to six.

Costigan will be moved into the starting lineup for Friday’s game as defensive end Antonio Simmons will come off because of an injury.

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Receiver Derel Walker will not play in the final game of the season, that will push Global player Diego Viamontes into the lineup.

Offensive lineman D’Ondre Wesley will take the place of the injured Kyle Saxelid at left tackle. Jonathon Rose comes off the roster due to injury which will leave Darius Williams as the starting wide corner in the Elks secondary.

Read more: Edmonton Elks fall to Saskatchewan Roughriders 29-24

Offensive lineman Justin Renfrom will miss Friday’s game as well, instead, offensive lineman Chris Gangarossa will dress for his first CFL game. Defensive back Herb Waters will be added to the 50-man roster.

The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:

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Offence

Quarterback: Taylor Cornelius

Running back: James Wilder Jr. (fullback: James Tuck)

Offensive line: D’Ondre Wesley, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, David Beard, Matt O’Donnell, Steven Nielsen

Receivers: Armanti Edwards, Earnest Edwards, Jalen Tolliver, Shai Ross, Tevaun Smith

Defence

Defensive line: Thomas Costigan, Jake Ceresna, Chris Nelson, Kwaku Boateng

Linebackers: Nyles Morgan, Kieshawn Bierria, Derrick Moncrief

Defensive backs: Nafees Lyon, Trumaine Washington, Jordan Hoover, Aaron Grymes, Darius Williams

You can hear live coverage of Friday’s game between the Elks and the Lions on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff 7 p.m. The opening kickoff from B.C. Place will be at 8:30 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action. Plus, hear analysis from two-time Grey Cup Champion and former Edmonton offensive lineman Blake Dermott.

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