Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mike Reilly Throws 4 Touchdown Passes as Eskimos Down Alouettes 44-23

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mike Reilly Throws 4 Touchdown Passes as Eskimos Down Alouettes 44-23

Article excerpt

Reilly throws 4 TDs as Esks thump Als 44-23

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Montreal Alouettes fans didn't get to see Johnny Manziel play, but they did witness Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly at his finest.

Reilly threw four touchdown passes and ran one in himself as the Eskimos defeated the Alouettes 44-23 on THursday night.

Manziel dressed as backup to Vernon Adams, but did not get on the field for his much-anticipated CFL debut.

Despite chants of "we want Johnny" from the crowd of 16,654, Alouettes coach Mike Sharman said that since Manziel had only one real practice since he was acquired in a five-player deal from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, there was no reason to put the 2012 Heisman Trophy at risk in a game in which the Eskimos defence was swarming the Montreal backfield.

"Believe it or not, I didn't feel any pressure to put Johnny in," said Sherman. "I knew what I was going to do and I wasn't going to jeopardize his career, with one day of practice, and put him out there when we weren't protecting very well.

"Once you start listening to the fans, it's not long before you become one."

Sherman said it was decided before the game with Manziel that he would only play if conditions were right. It turned out he would have had to play if Adams got injured because the third quarterback, Matt Shiltz, injured a shoulder while holding the ball for a field goal. But Adams stayed upright.

"In my mind, there was a 20 per cent chance he would play," said Sherman, who now must decide whether to give Manziel the start next week against Hamilton.

On the other side, Reilly was dishing the ball with authority, completing 24 passes for 415 yards.

Duke Williams, with two, C.J. Gable and Derel Walker caught TD passes for Edmonton (4-2). Williams caught four for 116 to top 100 receiving yards for a fifth straight game. Kenny Stafford hauled in five for 105 yards. Sean Whyte added three field goals.

"All three phases did their jobs tonight," said Eskimos coach Jason Maas, whose team has won two in a row. "Any tme you put up 44 on anybody in this league you're doing good things.

"The one thing I'm disappointed with was penalties. We've got to get better at that, but I don't want to take anything away from it."

The Eskimos were called 17 times for 191 yards while Montreal drew nine flags for 143 in a game that dragged on for more than three hours. …

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