Two players were ejected in the second quarter of Friday night’s game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Edmonton Elks following an altercation between James Wilder Jr. and Simoni Lawrence.
Taylor Cornelius threw a pass intended for Wilder Jr. late in the second quarter that fell incomplete at Edmonton’s 46-yard line. Lawrence drove Wilder Jr. to the ground with a hit to his backside, after which the running back stood up angrily and tackled Lawrence, driving him back near the Edmonton sideline.
A melee ensued, after which six penalties were assessed. Lawrence and Wilder Jr. were both assessed fifteen-yard penalties for unnecessary roughness, as were Edmonton offensive tackle Justin Renfrow and Hamilton defensive back Ciante Evans. These infractions offset one another.
Edmonton defensive back Jonathan Rose and Hamilton strong-side linebacker Kameron Kelly were ejected from the game, the latter of whom was seen spitting on a member of the Elks. The 25-yard infractions offset, setting up second-and-ten at Edmonton’s 43-yard line.
Wilder Jr.’s frustration may have been partially due to what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet shot from Lawrence earlier in the first half.
Elks head coach Jaime Elizondo told TSN at halftime that he needs his players to ignore the “BS” and focus solely on football. He was also critical of the team’s receivers, suggesting they dropped too many passes in the first half.
The Ticats lead the Elks at Commonwealth Stadium at halftime by a score of 27-4. Jeremiah Masoli had a sensational first half, completing 13-of-17 pass attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns, while Cornelius has completed 4-of-13 pass attempts for 71 yards.
The Elks (2-7) have opened the season 0-5 at home this year, which is tied for the worst home start in franchise history.