Fans of the Edmonton Elks have gone nearly three years without seeing their team record a victory at Commonwealth Stadium and they aren’t the only ones feeling worn down by 14 consecutive home losses.
“Coming into Week 17, we don’t have a home victory, we feel the pressure,” Elks’ defensive back Duron Carter told the media on Friday.
“I saw on the internet that it was a trap game for Montreal. It feels like a trap game for us. We ain’t won a home game in forever.”
While not forever ago, October 12, 2019 certainly feels like it. Back then Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker was the No. 1 movie at the box office, “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo was tearing up the charts, and the term COVID-19 had not yet entered our lexicon.
That was also the day that Edmonton, then sporting a different name, defeated the B.C. Lions 19-6 in front of over 27,000 fans.
Not many players remain from the team that won that Saturday in 2019, though Carter himself was present — albeit wearing different colours.
“I was on the B.C. Lions at the time and that game was very electric. It was playoff implications for both teams, pretty much same scenario right now,” said Carter.
“That was a very hard-hitting game. They broke Mike Reilly’s arm in the first quarter. It was a very tough game and I expect that to be the same here.”
The Elks are fighting for their playoff lives, as they sit at 4-10, four points behind the Saskatchewan Roughriders for a possible crossover spot — Edmonton’s only potential path to the playoffs this season.
But that does not mean the Elks will be scoreboard watching, according to Carter.
“We can’t be focused on what Saskatchewan does because if we were focused on that then we should have beat them the two times earlier.”
Instead of worrying about their opponents off the field. Carter and the Elks seem focused on the team they will be facing Saturday, the Montreal Alouettes and their suddenly hot quarterback Trevor Harris.
“Trevor is a great quarterback. He’s been in the league for a long time,” Carter stated. “When you’ve gotten to be a veteran in the league, like him or Bo Levi, you know what they can do.”
Carter also hopes to see the fans pack the stadium on Saturday, something that has been understandably lacking at Elks’ games this season. Edmonton’s attendance has dwindled, with just two games this season topping the 25,000 mark and none reaching the 30,000 mark.
One of the reasons to head to Commonwealth has been the improved play of quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who led the Elks to their fourth victory two weeks ago against the Riders and recently signed a two-year extension.
“I have the Taylor Cornelius ticket. I’m riding the T-train,” Carter said exuberantly. “They say pressure bursts pipes, his pipes are solid gold.”
While Edmonton’s playoff hopes are slim, the Elks have three more chances to break their almost 1,100-day home losing streak. They get that first chance on Saturday against Montreal.