Elks fall to Tiger-Cats; tie longest home losing streak in North American men’s big four sports
EDMONTON — Quarterback Matt Shiltz ran in a touchdown before leaving the game with an injury as the Tiger-Cats defeated the hapless Edmonton Elks 37-29 on Thursday for Hamilton's second straight win.
The Ticats improved to 2-3 on the season, but unfortunately lost Shiltz to a leg injury late in the third quarter.
Edmonton dropped to 0-6, the worst start in franchise history.
The home hex continues for the Elks, who have lost a CFL-record 20 consecutive home games, a string of futility stretching back to Oct. 12, 2019.
The loss tied the longest run of consecutive home losses among North America's major professional leagues.
Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Browns lost 20 straight in 1953 before becoming the Baltimore Orioles the next season.
Edmonton has also lost 10 straight games overall.
The Elks caught a break when Hamilton’s Tyler Ternowski fumbled the opening kickoff and Jordan Reaves was there to scoop it up for Edmonton, eventually leading to a 24-yard field goal by Dean Faithfull, the only scoring in the first quarter.
Faithfull nailed a 40-yard field goal with just under four minutes to play in the second quarter to double Edmonton’s lead.
The Tiger-Cats came roaring back on their next possession to grab the lead as a 54-yard passing play from Shiltz to Tim White set up an eight-yard touchdown run by James Butler.
Edmonton had a chance to regain the lead after a 49-yard run by Kevin Brown took them down to the Hamilton 13-yard line, but Elks quarterback Taylor Cornelius was intercepted by Javien Elliott.
Marc Liegghio's 28-yard field goal gave Hamilton a 10-6 lead at the half.
The Elks started the third quarter off in fine form as Cornelius completed a pass to Kyran Moore and he spun off a tackle and blazed 54 yards for the touchdown.
However, Hamilton answered quickly.
A 46-yard kickoff return by Tyreik McAllister set up a four-yard quarterback keeper into the end zone by Shiltz.
The Tiger-Cats then took a 24-13 lead as Cornelius foolishly attempted to throw the ball away rather than accept a sack and the ball ended up right in the hands of Cat Stavros Katsantonis, who took the ball 33 yards across the goal-line for the pick six.
Hamilton suffered a blow late in the third quarter, though, as Shiltz went down clutching his left knee after a hit and had to be helped to the sidelines. Taylor Powell took his place and just two plays later found White for a 17-yard touchdown on his first-ever CFL pass.
Jarret Doege replaced Cornelius as Elks pivot and engineered a solid drive, capped off by a two-yard TD run by Brown. Faithfull missed the convert.
Liegghio kicked a 22-yard field goal midway through the fourth.
With just under a minute to play, Doege passed to Steven Dunbar Jr. for a seven-yard touchdown.
After a successful on-side kick, the Elks would add a 45-yard field goal by Faithfull to close out the contest.
The two teams met just once last season, with the Elks coming away with an exciting 29-25 win in Hamilton on Canada Day … Amongst the injuries for the Elks were offensive lineman Andrew Garnett, defensive backs Aaron Grymes, Ed Gainey and Marloshawn Franklin Jr., and linebackers Woodly Appolon and Eli Mencer … Out with injuries for the Tiger-Cats were defensive end Mason Bennett, fullback Myles Manalo, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, offensive linemen Alex Fontana and Joel Figueroa, defensive tackle Dylan Wynn, and defensive back Tunde Adeleke.
To give the Elks’ home losing skid some added perspective, the Pittsburgh Penguins hold the NHL record with 14 straight losses on home ice in the 2003-04 season. The NFL record for consecutive losses sits at 14 straight, shared by the 1998-99 Dallas Cowboys and the 2008-2010 St. Louis Rams. The NBA record of 19 straight home losses goes to the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
The Elks head to Winnipeg to face the Blue Bombers next Thursday.
The Ticats return home to face the Toronto Argos next Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2023.