Redblacks outlast Elks 25-18, post second win of season

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EDMONTON — Caleb Evans scored a pair of short-yardage touchdowns as the Ottawa Redblacks put together their strongest showing of the season in a 25-18 victory over the Edmonton Elks on Saturday.

It was only the second win of the CFL season for the Redblacks (2-8), who snapped a two-game skid.

The Elks (3-8) have now lost 13 consecutive games at Commonwealth Stadium, a streak going back to Oct. 12, 2019. The record is 14 straight losses at home.

Edmonton started the scoring midway through the opening quarter as a 53-yard passing play from quarterback Taylor Cornelius to Kenny Lawler set up a 33-yard Sergio Castillo field goal.

Ottawa made good with a first quarter drive on the heels of Edmonton coughing up the ball on a third down gamble, with quarterback Nick Arbuckle scoring on a one-yard sneak. The convert attempt failed.

The Redblacks kept up the pressure midway through the second as a 10-play drive was capped off by a two-yard TD by Evans.

Ottawa took a 20-3 lead into the half as Evans took in his second major of the game soon after his team has recovered its own fumble on the Elks’ one-yard line. Edmonton had a last-second chance to kick a field goal, but it was blocked by Davon Coleman.

Edmonton came back from the break with a second wind and got a four-yard TD run from Cornelius, coming on the heels of a 42-yard passing play to Lawler.

The Elks conceded a safety and Ottawa made a comeback more difficult with a 28-yard Lewis Ward field goal early in the fourth.

With five minutes remaining in the final frame, Cornelius punched in both a one-yard QB sneak, and also a two-point convert. However, that was as close as they got in their comeback bid.

The Redblacks are in Montreal to face the Alouettes next Friday, while the Elks are off until Monday, Sept. 5, when they are in Calgary to face the Stampeders in the Labour Day Classic.

FOOT NOTES: It was the second consecutive meeting between the two teams, with the Elks defeating the Redblacks 30-12 last Friday in the nation’s capital, outscoring Ottawa 21-0 in the second half … It was Arbuckle’s first start as QB for Ottawa since being traded there in mid-July by Edmonton. He was 0-3 in his last three CFL starts this season for the Elks … The Redblacks got a big boost on special teams as kick returner DeVonte Dedmon returned from a stint with the Miami Dolphins to make his 2022 debut. Dedmon was the CFL’s 2021 most outstanding special teams player.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2022.

Shane Jones, The Canadian Press