Elks and Stampeders enter pivotal week, starting with Labor Day Cla*sic – Edmonton

Canadian football fans know that when the words “Labour Day” are spoken, the season of Canadian football season picks up speed.

For the Edmonton Elks and Calgary Stampeders, the two teams have only won five games overall this season. However, both teams are alive and well in the CFL playoff draw.

Both teams will be looking to improve their chances when they face off Monday in the Labor Day Cla*sic at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium.

Listen below: Elks head coach Chris Jones says the stakes are always high on Labor Day, and this year’s game is no exception.

The Elks are on a two-game winning streak after last week’s 30-20 win over the Ottawa Redblacks, and will be looking to earn a third straight win for the first time since the 2018 CFL season.

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A win would put the Elks in a tie with the Stampeders, who have three wins, and would put themselves high in the conversation for the East Division crossover playoff berth.

The Elks chase the Rougenoirs who have three wins. The Elks could get help from the Toronto Argonauts on Monday and could come within a game of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, who have four wins.

This is an unusual Labor Day matchup between two teams that have battled for the win for most of the season. But Elks head coach Chris Jones says both teams see their potential in making a run for the playoffs.

Elks quarterback Tre Ford has led an explosive offensive offense the past three games, with the team averaging 25 offensive points per game.

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The Elks managed to hurt opposing defenses with the big play as Ford had seven completed pa*ses of 30 yards or more.

The rushing offense has also improved greatly over the past three games. The Elks are averaging 167 rushing yards per game, up from 79.6 yards in the team’s first eight games.

Edmonton running back Kevin Brown has averaged 6.4 rushing yards per carry over the past three games and has 255 rushing yards in that span. Brown rushed for just 342 yards in the first eight games.

Listen below: Elks quarterback Tre Ford talks about the importance of back-to-back games with the Stampeders as he prepares for his first experience of the Labor Day Series.

On defense, center linebacker Nyles Morgan has been busy. He leads the Elks in defensive plays with 77 and defensive tackles with 71. Both are good for second in the CFL behind Stampeders middle linebacker Micah Awe.

Morgan is on track for 121 defensive tackles and has 25 tackles and three quarterback sacks in his last three games.

“We’re both in the same situation,” Jones said. “We’re both trying to fight, fight and do what we can to make the playoffs.

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“That’s what we’re both playing for, so it’s going to be a game of good definition.”

Offensive lineman David Foucault struggled during practice week with a lingering back injury that will keep him out Monday. He was placed on the injured list for one game.

Josiah St. John will start at Foucault’s left guard and try to slow a Stampeders pa*s rush that leads the CFL in quarterback sacks with 32.

Offensive lineman Phillip Grohovac will be back in the lineup after being left out last week.

Here are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:


Quarterback: Tre Ford

Running back: Kevin Brown Fulback: Tanner Green

Offensive line: Martez Ivey, Josiah St. John, Mark Korte, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Brett Boyko

Receivers: Eugene Lewis, Steven Dunbar Jr., Manny Arceneaux, Dillon Mitchell, Kyran Moore


Defensive line: Jake Ceresna, Cole Nelson, Kony Ealy, AC Leonard

Linebackers: Adam Konar, Nyles Morgan, Mark McLaurin

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Defensive backs: Marcus Lewis, Ed Gainey, Marlosawn Franklin Jr., Darrius Bratton, Kai Gray

You can hear live coverage of Monday’s game between the Elks and Stampeders at 630 CHED, starting with Countdown to kick off with Brenden Escot at 3:30 p.m.

Kick-off from McMahon Stadium will be at 5 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all the action live.

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