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Ford, Edmonton Elks look to break CFL-record 22-game home losing streak

File photo of Commonwealth Stadium featuring the Edmonton Elks' logo. File photo of Commonwealth Stadium featuring the Edmonton Elks' logo.

It's one long losing streak down, one more to go for Tre Ford and the Edmonton Elks.

Ford guided Edmonton to a 24-10 road win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week. The Elks' first victory of the season snapped a 13-game losing streak dating back to last year.

Edmonton (1-9) returns home to face the Ottawa Redblacks (3-7) on Sunday night. The Elks have dropped a CFL-record 22 straight games at Commonwealth Stadium, their last win there coming in October 2019.

Ford, who captured the '21 Hec Crighton Trophy as the top U Sports player while at Waterloo, finished 13-of-18 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns versus Hamilton while rushing five times for 60 yards. The native of Niagara Falls, Ont., was especially effective in the first half, staking Edmonton to 21-9 halftime lead before the game was delayed 90 minutes to start the second half due to lightning.

The Elks' defence also contributed mightily to the win, registering seven sacks and limiting Hamilton to just one point in the second half.

Edmonton has been plagued by untimely turnovers all season but on this night there were no interceptions or lost fumbles. The only turnovers came on downs (twice).

The week before, Edmonton stormed out to a 22-0 lead against Winnipeg, which also lost starting quarterback Zach Collaros to injury. But backup Dru Brown rallied the Bombers to a 38-29 victory, coming off the bench to pass for 307 yards and four TDs.

In that contest, Ford was 12-of-16 passing for 189 yards with a TD and interception. He also ran five times for 50 yards and a TD.

Edmonton's win over Hamilton was Ford's second as CFL starter. His first also came at Tim Hortons Field when the Elks came back to earn a 29-25 victory over the Ticats.

Ford will make a third straight start Sunday. Edmonton will face Ottawa for a second time as the Redblacks earned a 26-7 win at TD Place on June 30.

It's been a rough stretch for Ottawa, which has lost four straight by a combined 20 points. Take away the club's 44-31 loss to Toronto on Aug. 13 and the remaining three defeats have been by a combined seven points.

Last week, Montreal outscored Ottawa 22-7 in the second half to earn a 25-24 road victory. The Redblacks are 2-4 with quarterback Dustin Crum, who guided the club to wins over Calgary (43-41) and Winnipeg (31-28) in his opening starts.

Despite Crum's record, Ottawa has been in every game he has started. The former Kent State star's athleticism is something rival defences must gameplan for as part of their weekly preparation.

Crum has completed 127of-179 passes (70.9 per cent) for 1,421 yards with five TDs and five interceptions. He's also the CFL top-rushing quarterback with 451 yards on 56 carries (8.1-yard average) and three TDs.

Ottawa boasts the CFL's top ground attack (127.7 yards per game) but is also ranked last overall in passing (205.8 yards). And the Redblacks have allowed a league-high 41 sacks and are last in offensive yards per game (301.8).

Ottawa won the first meeting of the season, a 26-7 decision at TD Place on June 30 that earned the Redblacks their first win of 2023. Tyrie Adams was the quarterback of record, completing 14-of-20 passes for 185 yards and a TD before requiring season-ending knee surgery following the contest.

Edmonton's starter was Jarret Doege, who threw three interceptions.

Much has changed for both teams since, but the biggest has to be Edmonton's psyche with the athletic Ford under centre. He helped the Elks snap one long streak, here's thinking Ford and Co. finally put the club's dubious stretch of losses at home to rest.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2023. Top Stories

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