The Edmonton Elks dropped their opening game of the 2022 CFL regular season, losing 59-15 to the BC Lions on Saturday night at BC Place in Vancouver.
Quarterback Nick Arbuckle made 20 of 29 passes for 254 yards on his Elks debut. James Wilder Jr. led the Elks with 87 yards total offense, catching four passes for 48 yards and gaining 39 yards on ground. Kenny Lawler had five receptions for 72 yards and Derel Walker hauled in six passes for 64 yards.
Kai Locksley scored Edmonton’s first touchdown of 2022 on a QB sneak in the third quarter. Rookie quarterback Tre Ford became the first Canadian quarterback since 1988 to appear in a regular season game for Green and Gold, passing eight yards and running for eight yards. Elks kicker Sergio Castillo scored three-for-three on field goal attempts.
Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke completed 26 of 29 passes for 282 yards with three touchdowns and also rushed to two majors. James Butler had four touchdowns for the Lions, two on ground and two on passes for Rourke.
“We have to take this loss and take this pill,” Edmonton defenseman Ed Gainey said in a post-game interview with 630 CHED Radio. “It’s a hard pill to swallow but we need to put our hard hats on and get back to work. It will not be easy. But it’s a long season in which we just have to hit the ground running and don’t have to look back.”
Trailing 42-6 after the first half, the Elks came out with back-to-back scoring drives on their first two possessions of the third quarter, with Locksley hitting a one-yard touchdown at 10:59 and Castillo hitting a 30-yard Kick scored field goal after Edmonton’s defense forced a three and out.
“I think it spoke a lot for the guys in that locker room, the kind of character and the kind of heart that we have because it was a tough first half going into halftime,” Arbuckle said in the 630 CHED- Radio.
“So it wasn’t a very comfortable time at half-time but coming out straight away and taking back-to-back hits and moving the ball well, all sorts of guys all over the field making plays and our offensive line opening up to some big holes. I think we can build on that, we just need to see what we’ve done well and keep working on it.”
Edmonton will attempt to regroup against the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the opener of the 2022 regular season on June 18 at The Brick Field in Commonwealth Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m
“We’re going to spend a lot of time over the next few days learning from the mistakes we’ve made and trying to correct as many things as we can,” Arbuckle said. “It’s going back to the drawing board and we need to come out with a lot of intensity in practice next week and we have a big game ahead of us. This is just one game in an 18 game season, it won’t define us. That’s our goal, to make sure this game doesn’t define us and we can learn from it and move on and have a much better week next week.”