For many Elks fans, the 2022 season ended before the scoreboard showed zeros on Friday night. This game was just the final confirmation.
By losing 31-14 in their season finale to B.C., Edmonton suffered their 17th straight loss at Commonwealth Stadium and finished 4-14 overall to go along with a dubious mark of going two consecutive seasons without a home win.
With the loss to the Lions, it marked an 0-9 year at home in Chris Jones’ first year back with the green and gold. That goes along with the franchise as a whole going winless at 11000 Stadium Road for a second straight year. It’s a topic that Jones — once again — wanted nothing to do with.
“It’s something that I’m tired of talking about, quite honestly. We hit on that a few weeks ago the fact that regardless of where we play, our expectations are the same that’s to win a game,” said Jones.
“If the media wants to keep harping on it… again, I’m not going to answer questions on something that I put to bed two to three weeks ago. It’s unfortunate we didn’t play our best, regardless of which field we lose on, it’s still a loss.”
The final game of the year saw Tre Ford get the start at quarterback in place of an injured Taylor Cornelius, who sustained a spleen injury in the team’s Week 19 loss to Toronto. The rookie signal-caller showed there’s still a lot to work on in his game, but there were flashes of brilliance. Ford completed 22-of-36 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions while leading the team in rushing eight times for 72 yards.
It was a challenging game for Ford, who wanted to get the ball into his receivers’ hands while trying to hold his own against one of the best teams in the West Division.
“I wanted to go out there and make my reads, try to get the ball to the playmakers on the field. I struggled with that a little bit earlier on, got the hang a little bit, but B.C. has a phenomenal defence,” said Ford.
Jones praised his team’s effort and character throughout the year but pointed out that in the loss, this team once again had glaring errors that must be cleaned up, one of the biggest being stopping the Lions’ rushing attack. B.C. running back James Butler rushed 24 times for 141 yards (5.9 yards per carry) with one major.
“In the first quarter, it looked like me out there tackling,” said Jones.
Figuring out how to put together a consistent effort to stop the run game for a full 60 minutes was one of the most significant points that the head coach emphasized that this team has to correct going forward.
The only thing left for the Elks to handle in 2022 is exit interviews and locker cleanout as Jones and his team enter one of the more critical off-seasons in franchise history.