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Johnny Manziel Throws 1 TD in Limited CFL Action vs. Hamilton

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 4, 2018

HAMILTON, ON - NOVEMBER 3:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Montreal Alouettes fires a pass against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a CFL game at Tim Hortons Field on November 3, 2018 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Johnny Manziel ended his first season with the Montreal Alouettes on a high note. The former Heisman Trophy winner went 4-of-5 for 59 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Coming into the game, Montreal head coach Mike Sherman intended to get an extended look at backup quarterbacks Antonio Pipkin and, especially, Matt Shiltz to prepare for 2019.

"We want to give a chance to Matt," Sherman told Herb Zurkowsky of the Montreal Gazette. "During the pre-season, it's very rough on me to have to evaluate our team in two weeks' time. I want to take advantage of this opportunity."

Saturday's abbreviated showing by Manziel was a vast improvement from where he started the season. He went 11-of-20 with 104 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions in a 50-11 loss.

Manziel's touchdown came on a 30-yard pass in which he had all day to throw and put the ball in a spot where Eugene Lewis could overpower Hamilton defensive back Courtney Stephen:

TSN @TSN_Sports

Johnny #Manziel tosses a DEEP pass to Eugene Lewis for a @MTLAlouettes touchdown!! πŸ”₯ #CFLGameDay https://t.co/0WMJop3o6h

In the lead-up to Saturday night, Manziel sounded comfortable about his place in the CFL and wanting to return next season.

"It'll be nice knowing I have someone to come back to, having a routine and really having guys to work with, teammates to talk to," he told Zurkowsky. "It's going to be a good offseasonβ€”the first one I've had where I know I'm coming back to football next year. I want to be here."

This was a fitting and full-circle conclusion to what was a unique season for Manziel. He was able to go out on a high note against the team that originally signed him before Montreal acquired him via trade in July. The 25-year-old finished 2018 completing 64.2 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and seven interceptions in eight games.

Considering Manziel hadn't played a professional football game since Dec. 27, 2015, with the Cleveland Browns prior to joining the Alouettes, his stat line isn't nearly as important as just making it through the season without generating any negative headlines for off-field activities.