The Argonauts fall to the Elks in a make-up game, then rest for the Eastern Final


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Rookie Taylor Cornelius ran for a touchdown as the Edmonton Elks ended an eight-game losing streak with a 13-7 victory over the Toronto Argonauts on Tuesday night.

Cornelius led Edmonton for 29 yards in seven plays, placing Sean Whyte’s 35-yard field goal at 11:57 of the fourth to give the visitors a 13-7 lead. The former Oklahoma State star earned his first CFL victory in his seventh career start for the Elks, now 3-10, who had just lost 29-24 on the road Saturday to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

But that wasn’t exactly a stellar performance from Cornelius, who had 15 of 32 passes for 160 yards and three interceptions. And while the game often felt like an exhibition contest, Edmonton earned its first victory since a 32-20 decision over the Calgary Stampeders on September 6.

The competition was originally scheduled for August 26, but was postponed due to COVID-19 issues and rescheduled until Tuesday evening. It drew an advertised rally of 6,247 people at BMO Field on an evening when the Maple Leafs hosted the Nashville Predators and Canada faced Mexico in a men’s World Cup qualifier in Edmonton.

Edmonton won a fourth straight victory over Toronto and a fifth in six games. The Elks end their season Friday night with a visit to the BC Lions.

Toronto, now 9-5, suffered its first loss at home and broke a three-game winning streak. But the Argos had already clinched the top spot in the East Division, so most of their veterans, including starter McLeod Bethel-Thompson, didn’t play.

Antonio Pipkin therefore made his first start of the year for Toronto. He completed 10 of 22 passes for 111 yards with an interception before giving way to rookie Cole McDonald in the fourth. Pipkin also ran nine times for 78 yards and a touchdown.

McDonald completed four of eight passes for 45 yards with an interception.

Kicker Boris Bede didn’t dress up so Japanese rookie Toshiki Sato took care of the kicks for Toronto. Three times, the Argos have been called up for illegal kicks from Sato’s punters, but his 60-yard kick at 2:39 of the fourth reduced Edmonton’s lead to 10-7.

Cornelius looked set to increase Edmonton’s lead in the bottom of the third, completing an 11-play, 69-yard practice. But Toronto’s Shaq Richardson intercepted Cornelius in the end zone to end the Elks’ scoring threat.

Whyte had two baskets and a convert.

Thomas Costigan helped Edmonton take a 10-6 halftime lead. Costigan sacked Pipkin for an 11-yard loss on the third and five off Edmonton’s 14-yard line at 2:47 p.m. of the second, ending Toronto’s 13-play, 70-yard walk.

Earlier on the ride, Toronto took the shot with third and seven. Pipkin found Damion Jeanpiere for 11 yards at the Edmonton 19-yard line.

Whyte’s 22-yard field goal 3:59 of the second gave Edmonton a 10-6 lead. It came after Toronto was penalized for an illegal kick following Sato’s nine-yard punt, giving the Elks possession of their own 40-yard line.

Cornelius gave Edmonton the lead 7-6 on an 18-yard touchdown at 6:03.

Pipkin opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown at 3:15. It was set up by Robertson Daniel’s 40-steal return on Edmonton’s 17-yard line, but Sato missed the convert as Pipkin appeared to be having trouble with the catch.

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