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Edmonton Elks still winless after falling to Ottawa 20-14 in Week 7

Playing two games five days apart wasn’t ideal, but the Ottawa Redblacks liked the end result after posting back-to-back wins over the Edmonton Elks with a 20-14 victory Friday night.

The win allowed Ottawa to improve to 4-2 on the season and remain undefeated at TD Place.

Things continue to spiral for the Elks who fell to 0-6 and continue to search for answers.

Edmonton was hoping to find a spark with Jarious Jackson making his CFL head coaching debut, but came up short — again.

“At the end of the day I thought they handled themselves and I commended them on how they handled themselves this week,” said Jackson, who replaced the fired Chris Jones after last week’s 37-34 loss in Edmonton.

“On a go-forward basis let’s just stick together and see where this thing takes us.”

There was no denying the short turnaround had an impact on the game.

“I’m not going to turn my nose up at any win,” said Redblacks head coach Bob Dyce. “At the end of the day when you look at the CFL standings it says four wins, two losses. I’m extremely proud of those guys playing a [second] game in such short time.”

The Redblacks scored on their opening drive after Dru Brown, who finished 22-for-33 for 257 yards and two picks, got the team to the three-yard line and Ryquell Armstead ran in the TD. It was the one and only time the Redblacks would find the end zone.

Ottawa relied heavily on field goal kicker Lewis Ward who went 4-for-5 on the night, with his longest a 48-yarder.

Boris Bede had a rough night for the Elks missing three field goals to go 4-for-7, while McLeod Bethel-Thompson was 27-for-39 for 206 yards and one interception.

A football player in a white-green-and-yellow uniform is throwing the ball during a game. Two of his teammates are in the background, blocking opposing players from tackling him.
Edmonton Elks quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson throws the ball during first half CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, July 19, 2024. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Jackson acknowledged the offence as a whole fell short, but wasn’t going to single anyone out.

“Boris I’m sure is kicking himself,” said Jackson. “I’m not going to push his head down any further. I mean, he knows he’s got to make those kicks for us and I think it’s a different ball game if we make those kicks.”

Bethel-Thompson was furious after the game, but not about the loss as much as the injuries his teammates suffered which he blamed on the short turnaround.

The Elks lost defensive lineman Sam Acheampong on Ottawa’s opening drive and Scott Hutter was injured later in the game. Ottawa’s Tobias Harris also needed to be escorted off the field late in the game.

“It’s disgusting,” said Bethel-Thompson. “It’s disgusting as a five-day week and how many career-ending injuries or serious injuries happened tonight. It’s a shame, it’s a travesty.”

A football player in a black uniform is carted off the field. A blonde woman, also wearing all black, is crouching with him, attending to the injury. To the player's left is a teammate, extending an arm in comfort.
Ottawa Redblacks’ Tobias Harris, left, is comforted by Kalil Pimpleton, right, as he is taken off the field on a medical ATV during second half CFL football action against the Edmonton Elks in Ottawa on Friday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Bethel-Thompson was fined earlier this month when the Elks played back-to-back road games on just four days rest.

“It’s easy to sit in the ivory tower and plan some schedule and think that they’ll be just fine,” said the 36-year-old veteran. “These are human lives that you’re dealing with. These are professionals that you’re dealing with and you’re putting them on a five-day week against the same team. That makes no sense.”

After Ottawa took a 7-0 lead Bede responded with a 34-yard field goal. Ward had a rare miss on a 47-yard attempt and settled for a single. Bede made it close, 8-6, with a 39-yard kick.

Ward added 48- and 11-yard field goals to his first half totals, while Bede missed a 48-yard attempt of his own, but added a 42-yard field goal at the end of the first half to make it 14-9.

The second half was much the same as the first. Neither team was able to sustain pressure and looked to its kickers for offence.

Bede missed his second field goal of the night early in the third quarter and Edmonton settled for a single and added another single on a punt just over three minutes later to get within three, 14-11.

Ward was up again after Ottawa fell short on a drive due to a procedure penalty. The 28-yard kick put Ottawa up 17-11 at the end of the third quarter.

Ward added a 45-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, but the Elks stayed within reach with a 19-yard field goal from Bede to make it 20-14.

Up Next

Elks: Host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-5) on Sunday, July 28.

Redblacks: Host the Calgary Stampeders (2-3) next Friday.

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