Lloyd loves the Battle of Alberta

Edmonton Eskimos Maurice Lloyd is ready to take on the Calgary Stampeders. (QMI Agency files)

Edmonton Eskimos Maurice Lloyd is ready to take on the Calgary Stampeders. (QMI Agency files)

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:03 PM ET

CALGARY — No one in the current Richie Hall era of the Edmonton Eskimos has embraced the Edmonton-Calgary rivalry quite like Maurice Lloyd.

Ever since coming over from the Saskatchewan Roughriders last year, the middle linebacker hasn’t pulled any punches, physically or verbally, when facing the Stampeders.

But the fifth-year CFLer didn’t have to adopt an anti-Stamps attitude. It was something that formed in his first three years in the league as a Saskatchewan Roughrider.

“I’ve always felt that way about Calgary. I respect Henry Burris and his whole offence and defence or whatever I may face,” Lloyd said. “But I always had a thing about Calgary, there’s something about playing against them that had my blood flowing.

“I guess it’s because that team gives me a good challenge, they run different formations and it’s more reading than reacting.”

But when it comes to fans, Lloyd said the Battle of Alberta doesn’t really make a difference to him at McMahon Stadium. He said Stampeders fans don’t react to him any differently as an Eskimo than when he was with Saskatchewan.

“If you’re not in that red, black and white, they’re going to boo you regardless of what team you play for,” he said. “They’ve never been big talkers, but they’ve been big supporters. They support Calgary whether they win, lose or draw.

“Their fans remind you a little bit of Saskatchewan, support-wise, but as far as rowdiness, they’re quiet.”

But Lloyd hasn’t been. He called out the Stampeders on numerous occasions last season, whether to help pick up the rest of his teammates or simply express his true feelings.

“I’m always looking forward to playing against Calgary, a great team. You can’t take anything away from them, they’re No. 1 in the West, they’ve got great chemistry,” said Lloyd. “But at the same time, they’re just like everybody else. They can be beaten.”

The Battle of Alberta isn’t lost on any new faces in the dressing room this year either.

“In rivalry games, the emotions run high, it’s more of a pride thing out there when you’re playing somebody like that, especially in the same province and everything,” said Eskimos defensive end Kenneth Pettway. “You never know which way it can go. Everybody’s going to be out there with high intensity. It’s going to be a dogfight from the beginning to the end.

“Either way it goes you know we’ve just got to go out there and take care of business. They’re a good team and they execute really well. We’ve got to make sure we keep them under wraps and take care of stuff out on the field.”

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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