'Sugar' and spice

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

Officials will surely be paying closer attention tonight to the war in the trenches between the Edmonton Eskimos and B.C. Lions.

After last week's win in Edmonton, Lions offensive lineman Rob Murphy is charging the Green and Gold used some questionable tactics.

Known as a dirty player around the CFL, Murphy claims Edmonton defensive end Tim Cheatwood grabbed his hair on one play.

"He ripped my helmet off and then pulled my hair. An interesting tactic," stated Murphy yesterday.

"The ref - at halftime - came up and said: 'Sorry, I missed the call.' "

Murphy also claims Edmonton defensive end Isaac Keys punched him below the belt twice last Saturday.

Keys has a different version of the story.

"That was just a love tap," countered Keys. "If you look back on tape it was open handed. I am not a dirty player and I am not going to call him a dirty player.

"He did some pushing on me the play before and even during (the) play (in question). And while we were locked up I just gave him a couple of taps (below the belt) - OK, big fella, let's keep the game going."

As for Cheatwood, he shot right back yesterday.

"If he wants to go and cry about something, let him cry," said Cheatwood.

"I don't cry when he jumps on me or rolls over the back of my legs.

"That is just part of the game. If you want to put a little bit of sugar in it, I will put a little bit of sugar in it, too."

If the Lions are able to knock the Eskimos out of the playoff race tonight, you can bet the battle at the line of scrimmage could get real nasty.

FINISH LINES: A friend and respected colleague of Danny Maciocia off the field, B.C. head coach Wally Buono won't feel bad if the Esks watch the playoffs slip away this evening.

"There is not a pity party for each other," said Buono. "This is not intramurals or community flag football."


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