A new local owner in attendance. Fans back in the stands. There were plenty of reasons to party at B.C. Place on Thursday, but the visiting Edmonton Elks spoiled the festivities by notching their first victory of the CFL season with a 21-16 win over the B.C. Lions.
Elks quarterback Trevor Harris went 26-for-31 and passed for 296 yards, including a 10-yard second-quarter touchdown and one interception.
Kicker Sean Whyte went 4-for-5 on field-goal attempts and Edmonton was awarded a safety midway through the second quarter.
WATCH | Elks take down Lions for 1st win of season:
Edmonton running back James Wilder Jr. ran for a game-high 127 yards on 22 carries, averaging 5.8 yards per rush. Elks’ Greg Ellingson led all receivers with 148 yards on nine receptions.
Michael Reilly was held to just 128 yards, completing 15-of-25 passes for B.C. He was credited with the home side’s lone touchdown and was sacked three times.
New Lions kicker Jimmy Camacho went 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts and punter Stefan Flintoft recorded a single.
Off the opening kickoff, the Lions looked ready to bring the party to their home field. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead after new free-agent signing Camacho hit on his first-ever CFL field-goal attempt, scoring from 49 yards out after a 57-yard opening kickoff return from Chris Rainey.
Edmonton’s first points of the game came with 7:40 left to go in the first quarter, when Whyte’s 52-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the crossbar and into the end zone.
The Elks dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Lions 12-0.
With 10:05 left before halftime, Edmonton took the lead when Mike Jones caught a 10-yard touchdown pass. That capped off a seven-play drive that started on the Elks’ two-yard line and included a pair of costly penalty calls against B.C. defensive back Jalon Edwards-Cooper.
The two sides exchanged field goals early in the third quarter before the Lions notched their only touchdown of the game.
Video review was required to determine that Reilly had carried the ball over the goal line with a one-yard quarterback sneak that capped off an eight-play drive. Reilly’s pass attempt for a two-point convert was incomplete.
More field goals were exchanged in the final frame, but B.C. was unable to narrow the deficit to less than two points.
The game was a penalty-filled affair for both teams. Edmonton was assessed 12 penalties for 137 total yards, while B.C. was whistled for 13 infractions for 122 yards.
Thursday marked the Lions’ first game at B.C. Place since Nov. 2, 2019. New team owner Amar Doman was on hand to welcome fans back to the stadium, one day after it was announced he had purchased the team from the estate of late owner David Braley. B.C.’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was on hand and addressed fans during the third quarter.