Tre Ford leads Edmonton Elks past Ticats 24-10 for first win of CFL season

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Edmonton Elks wide receiver Steven Dunbar Jr. celebrates after his touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger Cats in Hamilton, Ont. The Elks won 24-10 on Aug. 17, 2023.Peter Power/The Canadian Press

Not even Mother Nature could rain on the Edmonton Elks’ parade Thursday night.

Tre Ford threw two touchdown passes as Edmonton defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 24-10 for its first win of the season. And the Elks had to wait for it as the contest was delayed 90 minutes to start the second half due to lightning.

Edmonton (1-9) snapped a club record-tying 13-game winless streak. And Ford, a native of Niagara Falls, Ont., earned his second career victory as a CFL starter at Tim Hortons Field.

Last year, the ‘21 Hec Crighton Trophy winner from the University of Waterloo guided Edmonton to a 29-24 road victory over Hamilton in his first CFL start.

Edmonton’s defence did its part with seven sacks in the game.

The Elks still have a CFL-record 22-game home losing streak heading into next week’s contest versus the Ottawa Redblacks at Commonwealth Stadium.

Ford finished 13-of-18 passing for 174 yards and the two TD passes, both to former Ticat Steven Dunbar Jr. Ford also ran seven times for 60 yards while Kevin Brown rushed for a team-high 89 yards on 16 carries.

Hamilton (3-6) suffered its first loss in seven games coming off a bye week. The Ticats also fell to 1-4 this season at Tim Hortons Field, to the dismay of the announced gathering of 20,192 that thinned out significantly once action resumed.

Rookie Taylor Powell completed 20-of-26 passes for 217 yards. James Butler ran for 115 yards and a TD on 14 carries while Tim White had nine catches for 101 yards.

Hamilton pulled to within 21-10 on Marc Liegghio’s single off a missed 33-yard field goal attempt at 2:04 of the fourth. It was Liegghio’s third miss of the game to go with an unsuccessful convert attempt.

Dean Faithful’s 18-yard field goal at 6:08 boosted Edmonton’s lead to 24-10.

Hamilton appeared to make it a one-score game in the third on Tyreik McAllister’s 56-yard punt-return TD at 6:52. But it came back due to a holding penalty.

Hamilton then drove to the Edmonton 24-yard line but didn’t score as Liegghio missed from 43 yards out.

At halftime, Hamilton added former receiver Darren Flutie to its Wall of Honour. Flutie, 56, appeared in 86 games over five seasons with the Ticats, registering 405 catches for 5,796 yards and 26 TDs, helping the franchise win a Grey Cup in 1999 — its last CFL championship.

Taylor Cornelius had Edmonton’s other touchdown. Faithful added three converts.

Liegghio finished with one field goal.

Liegghio’s surprising 20-yard foot on the final play of the first half cut Edmonton’s half-time lead to 21-9. Hamilton drove from its 20-yard line to the Edmonton 12 but with nine seconds remaining the Ticats opted to kick rather than take a shot at the end zone despite having two timeouts, drawing loud boos from the home crowd.

But Edmonton was deserving of its lead, rolling up 244 net offensive yards and converting on three-of-four third-down gambles. The Elks were also averaging 9.4 yards per offensive play.

Ford was also sharp, completing eight-of-nine passes for 127 yards and the two TDs. He also ran three times for 28 yards while Dunbar Jr. registered three catches for 85 yards and two TDs.

Powell also had a solid opening half, completing 13-of-14 passes for 125 yards. Butler ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on seven carries while adding three catches for 32 yards.

Ford found Dunbar Jr. on a nine-yard TD pass at 7:54 of the second to extend Edmonton’s lead to 21-6.

Cornelius’s one-yard run at 4:14 of the second put Edmonton ahead 14-6. It came three plays after Cornelius hit defensive lineman A.C. Leonard on a 45-yard completion on second-and-one following Liegghio’s 35-yard kickoff.

Butler’s two-yard run just 12 seconds into the quarter pulled Hamilton to within 7-6. Liegghio missed the convert.

Ford hit Dunbar on a 29-yard TD strike at 13:48 of the first to open the scoring. Ford delivered the pass just as he was being hit by a blitzing Javien Elliott to cap a smart 10-play, 80-yard march that saw Edmonton convert twice on third down.

Originally Appeared Here

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