Stampeders conclude Labour Day weekend with win over Edmonton Elks

CALGARY — In a game that came down to the final quarter of action, the Calgary Stampeders earned a hard fought win over the Edmonton Elks in the Battle of Alberta to close out OK Tire Labour Day Weekend.

Making his second start of the season, Calgary quarterback Jake Maier put together a gritty performance to help lead his team to a 26-18 win over the Elks on Monday. Maier completed 18 passing attempts in the game, throwing for 238 yards and two touchdowns in the contest.

Reggie Begelton was the leading source of offence for the Stampeders, reeling in five of his seven targets for 57 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Edmonton. Malik had an equally impressive performance catching a team-high 67 yards on four receptions.

On the ground Ka’Deem Carey led the way for the Calgary offence as he finished with 61 yards and a touchdown on 13 rushing attempts.

» Box Score: Elks, Stampeders by the numbers
» Through the Lens: Edmonton at Calgary
» Watch: Jalin Marhsall grabs first CFL TD on Labour Day
» Maier credits Stamps playmakers in win over Edmonton

Calgary’s defence made their presence felt early on in the game, recovering a fumble on an awkward exchange between Edmonton centre Mark Korte and quarterback Taylor Cornelius.

Stampeders defensive lineman Derek Wiggan fell on the loose ball, giving the Calgary offence good field position as they begun their second drive of the game from the Edmonton 51-yard line.

Following the recovered fumble from the Calgary defence, Carey caught a screen pass from Maier which he was able to turn up field for a 27-yard gain to put his team inside the Elks three-yard line. On the very next play Carey’s number was called again as he punched in the short-yardage score for the first touchdown of the game, and his sixth of the year.

The Elks would manage a response to the Calgary score before the end of the first quarter. Cornelius engineered a six-play scoring drive for Edmonton that begun with three consecutive completions, before dialing up a deep ball that found it’s way into the hands of Dillon Mitchell for a 48-yard touchdown.

Cornelius would complete all five of his passing attempts, throwing for 95 yards as the Elks evened the game at 7-7 to close out the first quarter of action.

The Calgary defence were back making big to start the second quarter. With the pocket closing, Cornelius was forced to try to escape the Stamps pass-rush using his legs.

However, Shawn Lemon would jar the ball loose on the scramble attempt and Calgary linebacker Cameron Judge made a great play on a diving effort to tip the fumble out of bounds, giving the Calgary offence possession at the Edmonton 43-yard line.

Despite the outstanding play from the Stamps defensive unit, the Elks would limit the damage as they came away with a stop of their own.

Facing a second and long, Maier dropped back to pass looking to pick up a fresh set of downs through the air, but Edmonton’s Jake Ceresna muscled his way into the Calgary backfield to bring Maier down for a sack, halting the Stamps offensive momentum.

Midway through the second quarter of action, Calgary found themselves in good position to break the tie after a great punt return running back Peyton Logan. The Calgary offence would get to start their drive from just outside of the Edmonton 40-yard line following a 46-yard return from Logan.

However, the Stamps opportunity to find points would be short-lived. Dropping back to pass, Maier fired a pass intended for Reggie Begelton, but Edmonton defensive back Mark McLaurin was lurking in coverage as he read the play and timed the pass perfectly, jumping the route for an interception.

The Stampeders would limit the damage following the interception from McLaurin, as Calgary forced an incompletion on a long second down passing attempt from Cornelius.

Despite being forced to punt, the Elks would assume a narrow lead as the punt from Jon Ryan resulted in a rouge, pushing the Elks to an 8-7 lead to close out the first half of play.

The Stampeders opened the second half of action looking determined to overtake the Edmonton lead.

With their second drive of the new half, Maier completed back-to-back passes before Carey broke free for a 21-yard gain. Following the big gainer from Carey, Maier completed a 19 yard pass to Begelton to put Calgary inside the score zone.

Standing on the Edmonton eight-yard line, Maier went right back to Begelton on a swing-pass and Begelton did the rest of the work himself as he found his way into the end zone for his third touchdown of the season.

Looking to extend their lead by one-score, the Stamps opted to go for two. Maier fired a pass to the back of the end zone that Malik Henry was able to get his hands on, helping Calgary to a 15-7 lead in the third quarter.

Following the score from Calgary, the Elks fortunes took a turn for the worse. Facing a punting situation the Elks called on Ryan to send the ball downfield, however Romeo McKnight burst through the line of scrimmage and blocked the Ryan punt. Calgary defensive lineman Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund recovered the block, giving the Calgary offence the ball on the Edmonton 12-yard line.

The Stampeders would not waste the opportunity granted from the blocked punt. On second down Maier threw a beautifully arcing ball to the back of the end zone as Begelton made the highlight-reel catch for his second touchdown in as many drives.

Calgary’s defence continued to apply pressure on the Elks as they forced a punt late in the third quarter of action, but this time disaster would strike the return team. As Ryan sent the ball downfield, Logan was back to return for the Stamps, but the Calgary rookie would not be able the kick as Edmonton recovered the Logan fumble.

The Elks would not be able to find the end zone following the fumble recovery, but they would manage to score points before the end of the third quarter. Edmonton called on kicker Sergio Castillo for the first time in the game, and the veteran kicker effortless converted the 15-yard field goal, cutting the Calgary lead to 22-11.

Calgary opened the final frame of action with a bit of flair. Scanning the field, Maier locked onto Stamps receiver Luther Hakunavanhu and connected on a 40-yard completion.

Despite the big play from Calgary, the Elks offence would hold strong and force a third down after Ceresna forced his way into the backfield for his second sack of the game. Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes would make his first appearance of the game as he made good on a 25-yard field goal attempt, extending the Calgary lead to 14 points.

Despite back-to-back third quarter touchdowns from the Calgary offence, the Elks appeared to be unfazed as they put together a long-scoring drive of their own. Cornelius led a 10-play 70-yard scoring drive that took over six minutes off of the game clock.

Facing a crucial third down with time winding down on the fourth, Cornelius managed to escape the Calgary pressure and deliver a strike to Jalin Marshall in the back of the end zone for a touchdown, cutting the Calgary lead to just seven-points.

Calgary would quickly put some separation between themselves and the Elks following the score from Marshall. Looking downfield, Maier again completed a long pass, this time to Malik Henry for a 37-yard gain.

Once again the Elks, defence would be able to limit damage following a big play from the Stamps offence. On second down, linebacker Adam Konar hit Carey in the backfield for a loss of two.

Calgary called on Paredes for his second field goal of the game, this time from 40-yards out. In uncharacteristic fashion the veteran kicker sent the kick careening wide of the uprights, but would still manage to score a single on the missed field goal attempt.

Down by just eight points late in the final frame, the Elks had possession of the ball with an opportunity to tie the game. However, when their team needed it most, the Calgary defence would stifle the Edmonton drive.

A Calgary sack forced the Elks into a second and long situation and the Stampeders would force Cornelius to throw back-to-back incompletions, as the Elks turned the ball over on downs, all but sealing a Labour Day victory for the Stampeders.

Looking ahead to Week 14, the Elks and Stampeders will meet on Saturday for a rematch of the Battle of Albert with the Elks hosting. Kick off is set for 8p.m. ET.

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