LIVESTREAM: CFL Preseason – Hamilton Tiger Cats @Montreal Alouettes, Saturday June 9, 12p (6p CEST)

The last game of the pre-season kicks off Saturday afternoon, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visit Montreal’s Percival-Molson Stadium for an all-East clash against the Alouettes.

All eyes will be on the quarterbacks in this game, with the Als’ quarterback contest finally unfolding and, for the Ticats, Johnny Manziel playing in his second Canadian Football League game.

The Ticats will start Bryant Moniz and keep Jeremiah Masoli off the roster, but after that will get another chance to see just how far Manziel has come since signing late in May.

“Another week of practice,” Manziel told Ticats.ca. “Another five, six days of getting out on the field and seeing these routes and getting some reps. Comfort is growing with each practice. It’s coming around slowly but surely, I feel good though.”

JOHNNY MANZIEL WILL GET A SECOND TASTE OF LIVE GAME REPS SATURDAY IN MONTREAL (KEVIN SOUSA/CFL.CA)

Manziel completed nine of 11 attempts for 80 yards in his debut last week, a 36-18 loss to the Toronto Argonauts, but could be ready to explore more of the playbook after another week of practice. The 25-year-old has already supplanted Vernon Adams Jr. on the depth chart and is off to an impressive start in his foray into Canadian football.

“I know he’s more comfortable with what we’re doing, so we’ll see if he speeds up and things go faster,” said Head Coach June Jones.

With Masoli out and Adams on the verge of being traded, according to Jones, Manziel could see significant playing time on Saturday afternoon. In fact, with most of the team’s starters being left home, most of the players in Saturday’s lineup will play the entirely of the game, Jones says.

One of the few starters who will play is running back Alex Green, who makes his 2018 debut after coming off the suspended list. Canadian Mercer Timmis handled running back duties against Toronto and rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries. Some have openly wondered about the position after the club released Storm Johnson, but Jones says he’s got a solid one-two punch in Green and Timmis.

“I’d say we’re pretty solid there,” said Jones. “Alex has been kind of our guy, and I thought Timmis did a good job in the game. I think we’ve got two solid players. [Timmis] is a good blocking back. He can do it all, he can catch the ball. He’s a good player.”

Timmis is not in the lineup Saturday, but another young, recent draft pick to keep an eye on is Sean Thomas-Erlington. The 2017 selection has converted from running back to slotback and gets the start on Saturday.

“He’s getting better and better,” said Jones. “He never thought he was going to be a slot receiver, but as soon as I saw him I said ‘you’re going to be a slot, and you’re probably going to end up losing weight just because you’re going to run so many more routes than you would as a running back. He’s been quick, he’s been really trying to learn it and he’s getting better and better.”


The position change could help the Ticats, especially after Shamawd Chamber’s knee injury that is likely to sideline him for the remainder of the season.While the Ticats are playing it safe, leaving most of their starters off the roster, the Alouettes are using Saturday’s matinee as one last dress rehearsal before the regular season.With so much roster turnover, every opportunity to play together is important for first-year coach Mike Sherman, especially after sputtering out of the gate in a 27-7 loss to the Ottawa REDBLACKS last weekend. Sherman even stopped practice at one point this week to re-focus his players.

“We just needed to lock in,” said defensive back Branden Dozier. “We have a chance to get better this week at the pre-season game so he wanted all the details to be ironed out and make sure everything was sharp. We stopped practice for a minute, talked about it and just made sure we ironed out all the details.”

Of particular focus for Sherman will be the offence, which managed just 233 yards, including 181 through the air. Drew Willy was efficient in his limited time, completing four of his six attempts for 53 yards and setting up a pair of field goals, but the Alouettes’ first two drives — including one aided by a turnover — resulted in six of their seven points in the ballgame.

Willy is competing with Matthew Shiltz for the starting quarterback job, a decision that’s taken longer than Sherman had initially projected. Last week Shiltz completed eight of 13 passes for 114 yards, but was also intercepted and struggled to move the offence.

The Alouettes will play the majority of their starters out of the gate on Saturday, including big off-season additions Tommie CampbellMitchell WhiteJamaal Westerman and Henoc Muamba.


On offence, Tyrell Sutton will start at running back with Stefan Logan behind him, while Amir Carlisle, who’s converted back to running back from receiver, looks to build on a solid debut. The Notre Dame product had 41 yards on six touches but also fumbled.

“My mentality has always been a next-play mentality,” said Carlisle, who was a running back in high school before playing receiver in college. “Mistakes happen, it’s a part of the game. You just have to learn from them, forget about them and do your best on the next play.”

B.J. Cunningham won’t play and neither will T.J. Graham, as Chris WilliamsErnest Jackson and Eugene Lewisare expected to do much of the heavy lifting in the passing game. This year’s second overall pick Trey Rutherford is getting the start at guard and will show whether or not he’s ready to get the assignment on opening day, especially with the injured Ryan Bomben still on the shelf.

On defence the Als continue to juggle their secondary, as Joe Burnett gets the start at safety and Branden Dozier moves to halfback. White and Campbell will play corner while former fourth overall draft pick Chris Ackie continues to get a good look at WILL linebacker.

– With files from Ticats.ca/MontrealAlouettes.com

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2017 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

LIVE STREAM: CFL Preseason – Hamilton Tiger Cats @Montreal Alouettes, Saturday June 9, 12p (6p CEST)

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