Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles under pressure from Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive end Justin Capicciotti (94) during first quarter CFL football action in Montreal on Friday, August 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Manziel tosses 4 interceptions in dismal CFL debut

QB struggles as Alouettes pounded 50-11 by Ticats

MONTREAL — Johnny Manziel’s CFL debut was a disaster as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats picked off four passes en route to a 50-11 romp over the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night.

Jeremiah Masoli threw touchdown passes to Brandon Banks and Jalen Saunders and ran one in himself, while Alex Green ran in a pair and Sean Thomas Erlington scored on a blocked punt for Hamilton (3-4), which ended a three-game losing streak. Lirim Hajrullahu added three field goals.

Backup quarterback Vernon Adams had a late touchdown and Boris Bede kicked a field goal for Montreal (1-6), which has lost four in a row.

Despite major hype, Manziel’s debut drew only 18,576 to Percival Molson Stadium. They saw the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner’s first pass attempt intercepted by Larry Dean — the first of four picks he would throw in the first half alone.

The former Cleveland Brown, playing his first real game since December 2015, showed flashes of talent, scrambling away from a persistent pass rush and throwing on the run. A 31-yard completion to Eugene Lewis in the second quarter was particularly impressive, but he was picked off by Mike Daly two plays later to kill a promising drive.

He was replaced by Adams in the fourth quarter, having completed 11 of 20 passes for 104 yards.

Manziel was acquired from Hamilton on July 22. He dressed but didn’t play in a 44-23 loss last week to Edmonton.

He wasn’t buying the notion spread widely on social media by past and present CFL players that he was thrown into game action too quickly, after joining the Alouettes only two weeks ago.

“Everybody has an opinion,” the 25-year-old said. “Would it have been nice to be here for three weeks and then get the start? Sure.

“But I didn’t lack any confidence coming into the game. I didn’t feel unprepared. But who knows? I got the start and it went just about as bad as it could possibly go.”

While Manziel struggled, Masoli took the Tiger-Cats through the Montreal defence with relative ease.

The eight-play opening drive ended with a 17-yard TD pass to Banks at 2:50. After the Dean pick, Green ran in from the one at 5:54. Less than three minutes later, Curtis Newton blocked a Bede punt and Thomas Erlington ran it in.

The first of two Jumal Rolle interceptions setup a 21-yard TD pass to Saunders and it was 28-0 after only 11:09 of play.

Manziel made his first completion with a 10-yard shovel pass to Ernest Jackson and got Montreal in range for a 29-yard Bede field goal to open the second quarter.

But another Rolle pick set the Ticats on an eight-play drive and another Green 1-yard TD. Hajrullahu added a 42-yard boot for a 38-3 half time lead, and put up threw more points from 48 yards early in the second half.

Masoli ran in from the six 1:32 into the fourth quarter. Adams scored with 2:39 left from the one after a pass interference call.

Manziel was the second Heisman Trophy quarterback to start for Montreal. Troy Smith won his debut in 2013.

“I didn’t feel uncomfortable,” Manziel said. “I just feel I might have been a bit too amped up.

“As the game started, I made a really uncharacteristic throw on the first drive and it really set us back. I did a bad job of setting the tone on that first drive.

“This is a humbling experience. I’ve had this experience in the past and there are two ways you go about this moving forward. One, you can let it get you down and sulk and harm you moving forward. The other way is to take this on the chin like a man and never let this taste creep back in your mouth again and never let it happen again. This will motivate me.”

Receiver Adarius Bowman, acquired two weeks ago from Winnipeg, did not dress.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Just Posted

VIDEO: Comedy Night in 100 Mile House

Comedians Kerry Chelsea and Leland Klassen had South Cariboo residents roaring with laughter

100 Mile Elementary holds book fair fundraiser

‘It’s excellent. It’s always really well receive by parents and teachers’

100 Mile House high school soccer team gets an addition to the trophy case

PSO Eagles boys team medals for the first time in five years

Two South Cariboo artists unite to display contrasting paintings in 100 Mile House

Seasons of Change: A Tale of Two Artists will run Oct. 19 to Nov. 10 at the Parkside Art Gallery

Elevated noise and gas odours in 108 Mile Ranch starting Oct. 22

Enbridge will be bringing a 36” pipeline back online due to ongoing work in Lac la Hache

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of Monica Jack

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Former B.C. cop sentenced to jail ‘in the community’ after caught in Creep Catchers sting

Dario Devic pleaded guilty after getting caught up in Surrey Creep Catcher sting in Whalley in 2016

5 races to watch in B.C.’s municipal elections this Saturday

This year’s election results across more than 160 cities in B.C. will start pouring in after polls close Saturday at 8 p.m.

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada said Friday the consumer price index in September was up 2.2 per cent from a year ago compared with a year-over-year increase of 2.8 per cent in August

Most Read