Argos’ defensive coordinator Corey Mace admits Argos have had rematch with Lions ‘on our minds for a while’ following early season blowout

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The Toronto Argonauts 2022 season has been marked by its highs and lows.

The highs have been pretty high, such as winning on Labour Day for the first time in a decade. The lows have been catastrophic, however, such as when they lost 44-3 to the B.C. Lions back in Week 3.

The sour taste of that loss has not left the Argos’ collective mouths according to defensive coordinator Corey Mace.

“We’ve had this game on our mind for a while,” Mace told TSN 1050 in Toronto earlier this week. “They really gave it to us early in the season.”

The Lions were giving it to everyone early in the season. That win over the Argos followed B.C.’s season-opening 59-15 triumph over the Edmonton Elks and was part of a massive coming-out party for B.C.’s first-year starting quarterback, Canadian Nathan Rourke.

The Lions team that the Argos will face on Saturday is not the same one that the double blue faced in Vancouver back in late June. Receivers Bryan Burnham and Lucky Whitehead are both out with injuries, as is Rourke, who suffered a Lisfranc injury in August against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and is hopeful to be back before the season ends.

The Argos know that even without Rourke, Burnham and Whitehead, the Lions are a dangerous group.

“The war of attrition is kicking in on both sides,” said Mace. “But their offence is explosive. I think [quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.] adds another element similar to what they had with Rourke, being able to extend plays with his legs. It’s going to be a tall task for our guys defensively.”

The Argos have one of the better defences in the league in 2022, but they too will be short-handed following the loss of Most Outstanding Defensive Player frontrunner Wynton McManis and former NFL first-round pick Shane Ray. However, there is a reason for hope as the Boatmen will have second-year defensive back Jamal Peters back in the lineup.

“He’s a freak,” Mace said about Peters. “He’s got that god-given stuff. He’s almost as big as some of the linebackers in this league. If you looked at him, there’s no way you’d think he’d play corner.”

The Mississippi State University product has taken that patented second-year leap we see from a lot of young CFL players, leading the league with six interceptions and well on the way to earning the first all-star selection of his career.

“Just seeing him transition from his season last year prior to us getting here. What he’s able to do now and certainly I think he’s the premier corner in the league,” Mace said.

The Toronto Argonauts (8-6) host the B.C. Lions (10-4) at BMO Field Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. EDT