Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback Johnny Manziel warms up for a Canadian Football League preseason game against the Toronto Argonauts on Friday, June 1, 2018, in Hamilton, Ontario. (Peter Power/The Canadian Press via AP)

Manziel makes CFL debut in Hamilton's exhibition loss

June 01, 2018 - 11:33 pm

HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) — Johnny Manziel was 9-of-12 passing for 80 yards in his CFL debut as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lost 36-18 to the Toronto Argonauts in an exhibition game Friday night.

Manziel, playing in a game for the first time in more than two years, faced a Toronto defense that was missing most of its starters and Hamilton coach June Jones was very conservative in his play-calling. The six-foot, 210-pound Manziel, who signed with the Tiger-Cats two weeks ago, directed five drives (22 plays) and was especially effective throwing on the run.

Hamilton, which played most of its starters, had seven turnovers in the first half — two interceptions, three fumbles and two on downs.

Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, entered the game late in the first half and played much of the third quarter. The 25-year-old was solid on his final possession, engineering a 12-play, 62-yard drive that took 7:27 off the clock but also included an intentional grounding penalty.

Manziel threw for 80 yards and ran twice for 10 yards. However, Hamilton's biggest play was Frankie Williams' 73-yard punt return TD to end the third, cutting Toronto's lead to 33-13.

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