Red­blacks, Als look to re­bound

Manziel gets another chance to re­deem him­self af­ter dis­as­ter

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports - LISA WAL­LACE

OT­TAWA — The Ot­tawa Red­blacks and Mon­treal Alou­ettes are both com­ing off a week to for­get.

The Red­blacks were stunned by a huge sec­ond-half col­lapse in a 42-41 loss to the Arg­onauts in Week 8. The Alou­ettes, mean­while, were flat-out em­bar­rassed in quar­ter­back Johnny Manziel’s an­tic­i­pated de­but, fall­ing 50-11 to vis­it­ing Hamil­ton.

Both teams will be look­ing to re­bound in a bat­tle of the Cana­dian Foot­ball League East ri­vals Satur­day at TD Place Sta­dium in Ot­tawa.

The Red­blacks (4-3) saw their lead in the East stand­ings di­min­ish when they coughed up a 24point lead at Toronto be­fore giv­ing up the win­ning touch­down in the dy­ing sec­onds of the game. Ot­tawa was outscored 22-3 in the fourth quar­ter.

“You have to move on to the next one and you’ve got to learn and cor­rect the things you need to cor­rect from the pre­vi­ous game,” Ot­tawa de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Noel Thorpe said. “It’s go­ing to sit with you, there’s no ques­tion about that. I think we got bet­ter, men­tally tougher and know how our ap­proach and our fo­cus needs to be com­ing out for a sec­ond half, and I think that’s go­ing to make us stronger here in the fu­ture.”

Mon­treal (1-6) is look­ing to bounce back from an ugly per­for­mance that saw Manziel throw four in­ter­cep­tions and fin­ish 11-for-20 for 104 yards.

Mon­treal’s coach­ing staff has been ques­tioned for giv­ing Manziel the start with just four prac­tices to pre­pare, but it ap­pears the Alou­ettes are ready to stick with the for­mer Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner.

“He’s an ath­letic guy, runs around, can im­pro­vise and any of those quar­ter­backs that can use their feet and are ath­letic and can make plays that are off sched­ule, mean­ing not the way it was de­signed up, then those guys can al­ways scare you,” Red­blacks coach Rick Camp­bell said. “We know he’s a good player and we have to be ready for him.”

Vet­eran Ot­tawa receiver Brad Si­nop­oli is good to go af­ter suf­fer­ing a mild an­kle in­jury ear­lier in the week. Si­nop­oli has been the Red­blacks’ most pro­duc­tive receiver so far, with a league­lead­ing 52 re­cep­tions for 641 yards.

“I feel good, I just needed a cou­ple days of rest and for­tu­nately they gave them to me,” Si­nop­oli said. “I feel ready for the game.”

The Red­blacks made a sur­pris­ing change early in the week as they re­leased de­fen­sive back Loucheiz Pu­ri­foy. Pu­ri­foy had been con­sid­ered a sig­nif­i­cant off-sea­son sign­ing, but in the end the Red­blacks felt he wasn’t a “good fit” with the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“He’s a good foot­ball player, but there’s more to be­ing a good foot­ball player than be­ing some­body who can make plays on the field. There are other parts to that, too. You have to a be a good team­mate,” gen­eral man­ager Mar­cel Des­jardins told re­porters.

Canadan rookie Justin How­ell will make his first start at safety.

“We’ve started in­te­grat­ing him into the de­fence,” Camp­bell said. “We had some pack­ages with an ex­tra DB on the field and he’s done that the last few weeks and done a re­ally good job for us on spe­cial teams and the game’s not too big for him.”

DL Jonathan New­some will also re­turn af­ter five weeks on the six-game in­jured list.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO

Af­ter getting pulled against his old team last week in his first CFL start, Alou­ettes quar­ter­back Johnny Manziel faces Ot­tawa on Satur­day night.

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