Stamps' big man shows off soft hands

Stamps' defensive tackle Corey Mace showed off his pass-catching ability early in Friday's 41-21...

Stamps' defensive tackle Corey Mace showed off his pass-catching ability early in Friday's 41-21 defeat of the B.C. Lions. (QMI Agency/AL CHAREST)

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:53 PM ET

CALGARY - Corey Mace certainly surprised the B.C. Lions.

But the big Stamps defensive tackle said hauling in a touchdown pass should shock no none.

“I’ve been trying to say this probably since I came out of college: I definitely have the best hands on the D-line, there’s no question about that,” Mace deadpanned after snagging a one-yard TD pass Friday during the Stamps 41-21 rout of the defending Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions.

“And I’m probably the most athletic 280-plus pound person we probably have north of the border.

“And ...,” Mace paused before breaking into laughter. “No, I’m just joking.”

In all seriousness, it was a pretty good grab.

And an even better route, if you believe head coach John Hufnagel, who seemed happy to play along with Mace’s exaggerations.

“Yeah, he put a triple-move on the guy,” Hufnagel said. “Except the guy wasn’t there.

“He’s always been bragging about (his pass-catching ability). He wanted to be tested before the year was over.”

Hufnagel praised third-string quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, who tossed the rainbow under duress into the back of the endzone for the wide-open big man.

But Mitchell was content with letting Mace enjoy the spotlight.

“He blocked his guy down, got open and made the catch,” Mitchell said. “They brought a guy off the edge and he was in my face. I saw that he was wide open and I knew he had good hands. I just put it up and let him get under it.

“It was huge for a guy like that to get a touchdown, because obviously they don’t get to experience that very often.”

After showing off his soft hands, Mace displayed his suave dance skills as he celebrated the major.

Veteran defensive end Anwar Stewart, who had a career-high four sacks in the game, wasn’t impressed, saying his teammate might want to invest in dance lessons.

“He’s just jealous because he has no rhythm,” Mace said. “That’s the problem.

“He was the one trying to do his Gangnam Style dance (the team’s sack dance).

“We had to go teach him how to do that properly.”

Undaunted, Mace continued to celebrate after the game.

“Throw it to Mace!” the big defender bellowed as he walked past Mitchell being interviewed.

He said he was eager for film day to see how the big play looked on TV.

“I’m not sure who it was that I swatted,” Mace said of his move off the line. “I just did what I was coached to do.

“Bo put it up there. I had to go up and get it.

“Hopefully, I just didn’t look too fat. Hopefully, it looked athletic.”

It wasn’t the first time the 6-foot-3, 287-pounder has found paydirt.

He picked up a fumble two years ago in Regina to help the Stamps seal a crucial victory over the Roughriders.

And despite the excitement of Friday’s score, that first sprint to the house ranks higher on his personal highlight list.

“I’m going to go with Sask,” he said, when asked which TD was better. “Because that clinched us a playoff spot and that was in the fourth quarter and iced the game.

“And any time you run 60 yards as a big dude, that’s something to brag about.

“I only had to run a five-yard pattern this time.”

But what a pattern it was.

scott.fisher@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNScottFisher


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