Warriors find a way to win

Hawaii's Cedric Byrd, right, celebrated with Marcus Armstrong-Brown after his TD in the third quarter against Wyoming. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

A football game can be ugly for 59 minutes and just one pretty play can turn it into a thing of beauty.

And so it was for the University of Hawaii tonight at Aloha Stadium, when true freshman quarterback Chevan Cordeiro stepped out of a sack, kept his balance and then found JoJo Ward in the end zone with 1:26 left for a 38-yard touchdown pass. It was Hawaii’s first lead of the game, and the only one it needed in a 17-13 victory.

“That last play was crazy,” Ward said at the postgame press conference. “It felt like something in a movie. I just had to make a play.”

Then it was Hawaii’s defense’s turn to play clutch — again. Wyoming drove to the UH 14, but time expired.

“We’ve done so many two-minute drills,” said defensive end Kaimana Padello, who had two sacks among his three tackles for losses. “It’s ridiculous how prepared we were.”

Surprising UH is now 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming fell to 2-4 and 0-2.

UH won without injured starting quarterback Cole McDonald — and with a tremendous overall effort by the defense, which did not allow a touchdown.

“This win was on the back of the defense,” UH head coach Nick Rolovich said. “They took it upon themselves to be the leaders. They were lights-out except one chunk run. Corey (Batoon, defensive coordinator) and those guys had great communication.”

Wyoming’s one long gain on offense was a 63-yard run by Nico Evans that led to a field goal to put the Cowboys up 13-10 late in the fourth quarter. (Before that, its longest play was a 61-yard interception return for a TD.)

Hawaii’s decisive drive went 68 yards on 10 plays. Rolovich decided to go for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the UH 41 with 4:08 left. Dayton Furuta came through with the first down. Furuta carried 16 times for 101 yards.

“You look in their eyes, and you see it in their soul,” Rolovich said, in deciding to go for it instead of punting in that situation.

With 1:35 left, a sack of Cordeiro put the ball back to the Wyoming 38, setting up the touchdown pass to Ward.

Hawaii yielded just two of 12 third-down conversions to the Cowboys.

Defensive lineman Zeno Choi and Rolovich both said the home crowd noise helped.

“I feel like the crowd had a huge impact on last drive,” Choi said. “I never heard Aloha Stadium that loud. And like Kaimana said, the DBs trust the front and the front trusts the DBs.”

In his college debut, Cordeiro completed 19 of 29 passes for 148 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception. He was sacked four times and netted 23 yards on 12 carries.

“Chevan Cordeiro almost won the (starting) job in training camp,” Rolovich said. “He’s not here for big numbers. He’s here for the smile he’s gonna get from the young kid he sees tomorrow. He wants to represent this state with a Warrior jersey. That’s what he told us when he signed. He doesn’t say a lot, but I believe he dreamt about this moment when he put pen to paper.”

Rolovich said he does not know when McDonald will be available to play again, but added, “It’s not going to be really long term.”

COMMENTS

  1. Luki October 6, 2018 11:26 pm

    Great team win, gritty win. This team is young and still learning how to win. Last count only 3 seniors start Tavai, Choi, and Armstrong-Brown. They have a lot more fight and will than last year.


  2. Wil Luna October 6, 2018 11:38 pm

    Great job!


  3. Wil Luna October 6, 2018 11:40 pm

    Great job describing & amplyfing the events leading to a UH win!


  4. 808WarriorFan October 7, 2018 3:18 am

    WOW … AWESOME … SIMPLY AWESOME

    LIVE ALOHA / PLAY WARRIOR / DEFEND THE ROCK … GO ‘BOWS … !!!!!


  5. FLOARCH October 7, 2018 4:11 am

    Go Chevan-

    The Brotherhood is proud of you!


  6. Chicken Grease October 7, 2018 8:53 am

    Oh yes. We’ll take it.

    Wondering if McDonald is leaving the program, quite actually, since he has a makeshift lei on.

    Wyoming coach looks like one of those Irish strongarm associate in a movie or two, hahahha.

    I thought the officiating was even-keeled. For every MISTAKE they made against the Warriors, they made up for it in the 2nd half, not the least of which included the CORRECT call with regard to that sly spiking attempt by Wyoming at the (quote literally) last second. That’s refs—whether at their home or ours, THAT call at the end was correct.

    I AM a Che7an fan.

    Another great write-up, Reardon. Do more post-game analyses, please. Really on spot!


  7. John Simonds October 7, 2018 11:44 am

    How did McDonald get hurt? What is the nature of his injury? Why the high degree of camouflage for his absence at practice? Why no elaboration by Rolovich or anyone else about McDonald’s injury? More information is owed the fans and spectating public on why the nation’s top passer was suddenly sidelined with so little explanation? Rolovich seemed awfully vague, based on what’s been reported. Conspiratorial minds will start working if the UH program isn’t more forthcoming. This is the kind of mystery that gets Sports Illustrated and ESPN attention. Embarrassing to have to read the details there first.


  8. iGrokSpock October 7, 2018 12:04 pm

    A feel good moment. Next up. Go Warriors – beat BYWho!


  9. Chicken Grease October 7, 2018 4:05 pm

    Programming Note: in addition to this morning’s replay of the UH vs. Wyoming game, Spectrum Oceanic digital channel 1215 will be replaying last night’s University of Hawaii Warriors vs. Univeristy of Wyoming Cowboys football game at 5:45pm today!


  10. bg October 8, 2018 10:03 am

    @7.
    Before you spend too much energy being upset, check out this link that summarizes the HIPAA connection to athlete injuries. NCAA and NFL are not in the same categories when it comes to the application of HIPAA. http://thesportjournal.org/article/the-impact-of-the-hipaa-privacy-rule-on-collegiate-sport-professionals/


  11. iGrokSpock October 8, 2018 11:02 am

    #7 – besides the HIPAA, why tip off the opposition by letting them know who is injured and who is not playing? Unless you are gambling on the game eh?


  12. Chicken Grease October 8, 2018 11:48 am

    bg. It shouldn’t be in the same category—NFLer’s body is VERY different from a college football player’s. Also, think about it; the organizing body/committee/decision makers certainly MUST start certain things from scratch because U.S. football is unique. Can’t exactly grab and use studies from athletic medical groups from around the world.

    Thank you.


  13. Savich October 8, 2018 7:26 pm

    I think this year, they have better coaching. Last season, all the coaches were crap. It goes to show you, if they have someone to point them into the direction of the win column, they will follow that direction or coaches. Good going Warriors.


  14. Lewis Abels October 9, 2018 7:50 am

    Way to go Bows! Beat BYU


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