Stampeders remain undefeated with dominant win over Elks in Battle of Alberta

The Calgary Stampeders continued their perfect start to the season with a dominant 49-6 win over the Edmonton Elks on Thursday night for their fourth straight victory.

Calgary controlled the game in all three phases at Commonwealth Stadium and maintained momentum despite a lengthy weather delay in the third quarter.

Rookie running back Peyton Logan scored his first career CFL touchdown shortly before the delay on a 122-yard missed field goal return, and he helped put the game out of reach with a 21-yard touchdown run after play resumed over an hour later.

Bo Levi Mitchell threw two touchdowns while completing 17 of 22 passes for 279 yards in the win. Top Stamps receiver Malik Henry racked up a game-high 150 yards on just six catches  — including an 89-yard touchdown.

Calgary running back Ka’Deem Carey rushed for a season-high 104 yards on 12 carries, while receiver Luther Hakunavanhu also found the end zone for his first touchdown of the season.

Calgary’s defence finished with two interceptions, three sacks and two fumble recoveries, with one being returned by linebacker Cameron Judge for a 63-yard fourth-quarter touchdown.

Canadian quarterback Tre Ford made his first career CFL home start and looked strong early on, but he exited the game with an apparent right shoulder injury in the first quarter. Nick Arbuckle took over under centre for Edmonton before being replaced by Kai Locksley in the third quarter. Arbuckle re-entered the game after Locksley suffered an injury in the fourth quarter as Edmonton fell to 1-4.

» Box Score: Elks, Stamps by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Stamps at Elks
» Watch: Logan goes 122 yards for a crowd silencing TD
» Watch: Judge picks up the fumble and takes it to the house

The Stamps generated momentum on the very first play of the game with rookie Jalen Philpot returning the opening kickoff 60 yards to set the offence up in Edmonton territory. But Carey was unable to reel in a would-be touchdown catch later on the drive, and the Stamps were forced to settle for a 29-yard field from Rene Paredes after Mitchell overthrew Kamar Jorden in the end zone. It was Paredes’ 30th consecutive successful field goal, which is tied for the fourth longest streak in CFL history.

Ford stepped up with a big play later in the first quarter, as he shook off a sack from Judge and launched a 46-yard pass to Locksley. But the rookie pivot was forced out of the game with an injury on the next play after a five-yard run up the middle.

Arbuckle took over under centre as Edmonton finished the drive with a 38-yard game-tying field goal from kicker Sergio Castillo.

Elks defensive back Jalen Collins forced a turnover on the ensuing drive by stripping the ball from Carey on an 11-yard run, with Scott Hutter recovering it for Edmonton, but Arbuckle and the offence were unable to convert it into points.

A defensive pass interference call resulting from a successful Calgary challenge set the Stamps up at Edmonton’s 25-yard line on the next drive. But back-to-back sacks from linebacker Matthew Thomas halted the drive early in the second quarter, and the Stamps failed to add points when Paredes’ 38-yard field goal attempt went wide to the right to end his streak.

The Elks fell into a deeper hole by conceding a safety while backed up on the next drive. Philpot returned the ensuing punt 37 yards, which led to a 17-yard field goal from Paredes that gave Calgary an 8-3 lead.

The Stamps added their first touchdown before halftime, with Henry accelerating up the left sideline for an 89-yard catch after beating Collins on a comeback route. Calgary opted to go for the two-point conversion, but Mitchell was unable to complete the pass to running back William Langlais.

Edmonton’s frustrations continued when Arbuckle was intercepted inside Calgary’s 10-yard line with under two minutes to go in the second quarter.

Calgary took full control with a special teams touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, as Logan turned on the jets for a 122-yard score on a missed 47-yard field goal from Castillo. Paredes added the convert to put Calgary up 21-3 before the lengthy weather delay.

Logan helped Calgary maintain momentum after the delay with a 21-yard touchdown run that saw him evade multiple defenders, and Paredes kicked the convert to give Calgary a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter.

Locksley took over at quarterback for Edmonton after the delay and got things started with a 17-yard run. But Calgary’s defence forced a costly turnover on the next play as defensive lineman Folarin Orimolade knocked the ball out of running back Charles Nelson‘s hands. Judge recovered the ball for Calgary, and Mitchell converted the turnover into a touchdown on a 28-yard pass to Hakunavanhu.

The dominance continued in the fourth quarter as defensive back Titus Wall stripped the ball from receiver Raphael Leonard for a fumble that was returned by Judge for a 63-yard touchdown.

Castillo gave Edmonton its second score of the game with a 42-yard field goal with just over five minutes remaining, but Stamps defensive back Tre Roberson closed out the game with a 66-yard interception return that led to a one-yard Tommy Stevens QB sneak touchdown.

Edmonton will next face the Montreal Alouettes on the road next Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET, while Calgary will travel to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the following Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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