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

Port McNeill Cannabis Committee stumbles out of the gate

“I’m worried we could just be all over the map and I need to see a plan.”

Port Alice’s new RCMP officers going through clearance process

The medical process can take several months to complete as there are several steps involved.

UPDATED: East Zeballos placed under evacuation alert as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

BC Wildfire Service says rolling debris on steep terrain poses danger to firefighters

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Port Hardy Fire Rescue knocks down wildland fire

PHFR members responded to the scene, located the fire, and contained it to the immediate area.

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Most Read