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

From the archives of the 100 Mile Free Press

36 Years Ago (1982): The Village of 100 Mile House 1983 budget… Continue reading

What’s your opinion on ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” being banned from radio play?

Brian Brown 100 Mile House “I think it sucks.” Brandon Bougie 100… Continue reading

CBC documentary on CP Air Flight 21 did it justice says one interviewee

‘I’m sure the story is not over but at least for now we have told it.’

Insight into investigations about unfounded allegations by officials at 100 Mile House high school

Allegations about a potential violence were investigated on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

B.C. man linked to human remains probe gets absolute discharge on unrelated mischief count

Curtis Sagmoen was in Vernon Law Courts Dec. 13 for a mischief trial

Supreme Court upholds Canada’s right to reargue facts in assisted-dying case

Julia Lamb and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association are spearheading a challenge of the law

B.C. company facing several charges in 2017 chicken abuse case

CFIA investigation leads to 38 charges against Elite Farm Services and Ontario-based Sofina Foods

Woman forcibly confined, sexually assaulted between Creston and Cranbrook

The suspect forced the woman into her vehicle before driving along Highway 3

‘I thought I was dead as soon as I saw the gun’

Keremeos gas station attendant tells story about man with gun coming to store

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

Most Read