The first installment of the Battle of Alberta between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Stampeders is usually reserved for Labour Day.
In 2019 the two teams will meet in a Week 8 matchup as the Eskimos visit the Stampeders on Saturday afternoon at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium.
Both teams are tied for second place in the CFL’s Western Division with 4-2 records. The winner of this game will find themselves tied for first in the West with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who lost to the Toronto Argonauts on Thursday night.
It’s also the first of three meetings between the Eskimos and Stampeders and the winner will have a leg up on the season series.
Eskimos head coach Jason Maas says he knows all about the rivalry, but that’s not the main focus of his team.
“We’re so focused on ourselves and the process and how we perform week-to-week, day-to-day and getting the best out of ourselves,” Maas said. “We’re not focused on the other guys.
“We know of them, we respect them and we prepare for them, but really, it’s about these guys in our locker-room and us playing as a team and a unit.”
Watch below: Some videos from Global News’ coverage of the Edmonton Eskimos in 2019.
The Eskimos beat the Argos 26-0 last week in Edmonton. Running back Shaq Cooper led the way rushing for 128 yards and a touchdown and contributing 48 receiving yards. The Eskimos will have C.J Gable back in the lineup on Saturday. Gable is the fourth-leading rusher in the CFL, recording 448 yards, and is averaging 90 yards on the ground per game.
Lineup changes will see the Eskimos’ Kevin Elliott making his first start in the receiving corps this season as Greg Ellingson has been placed on the one-game injured list.
Eskimos linebacker Jonathon Walton has been placed on the one-game injured list while linebacker Christophe Mulamba-Tshimanga has been placed on the six-game injured list.
Edmonton receiver DaVaris Daniels and fullback Peter Cender have been added to the active roster.
Listen below: Eskimos head coach Jason Maas on Kevin Elliott’s season debut in the receiving corps, replacing Greg Ellingson, and C.J. Gable’s return.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Eskimos:
Quarterback: Trevor Harris
Running Back: C.J. Gable (Fullback: Calvin McCarty)
Offensive Line: Tommie Draheim-Jacob Ruby-David Beard-Travis Bond-Colin Kelly
Receivers: Kenny Stafford-Ricky Collins Jr.-Natey Adjei-Kevin Elliott-Tevaun Smith
Defensive Line: Kwaku Boateng-Almondo Sewell-Mike Moore-Nick Usher
Linebackers: Vontae Diggs-Larry Dean-Brian Walker
Defensive Backs: Josh Johnson-Money Hunter-Jordan Hoover-Tyquwan Glass-Arjen Colquhoun.
The Stampeders are coming off a dramatic 17-16 win over the Ottawa Redblacks last Thursday in our nation’s capital. The Redblacks conceded a safety in the late stages of the fourth quarter, turning a four-point lead into a two-point lead. The Stampeders would go on to win the game on a 31-yard field goal from Rene Parades for the 13th walk-off field goal of his career.
Stampeders’ quarterback Nick Arbuckle continues to handle the starting duties for Calgary while Bo Levi Mitchell rehabs from a torn pectoral muscle.
Arbuckle is averaging 298 yards per game in his four starts and has thrown for five touchdowns and two interceptions. He leads the CFL in game-winning drives in the fourth quarter with two.
Listen below: Calgary Stampeders quarterback Nick Arbuckle talks about how he and a number of backup quarterbacks are getting the chance to start because of injuries to starters.
Over the last nine meetings between the two teams, the Stampeders hold a slight 5-4 advantage over the Eskimos.
You can hear Saturday’s game between the Eskimos and Stampeders on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff at 3:30 p.m. The opening kickoff from McMahon Stadium in Calgary is at 5 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action. Plus, hear analysis from former Eskimos offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott.