Hawaii football defeats Oregon State 31-28

JoJo Ward hauled in his school record-tying fourth touchdown against Oregon State in the third quarter Saturday night. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

It was so quiet when Oregon State place-kicker Jordan Choukair’s 52-yard kick was tumbling through the air toward the goal posts you could hear the roar of the relatively small south end zone crowd first before the officials signaled the boot was no good just an instant later.

The missed try on this windy Saturday night before a crowd of 25,141 didn’t end it for Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors would need to stop a hook-and-lateral play as time expired after Hawaii was forced to punt with 14 seconds left to seal the deal. But they did that with a lot less fanfare than the tackle at the 1 two weeks ago against Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate to give UH its first win over a Pac-12 team this year.


The second one on this night was equally big as the defense hurled a shutout in the second half to allow the UH offense to overcome a 14-point deficit to get the win on a 27-yard field goal by Ryan Meskell with 2:01 left in the game. It was the Warriors’ first lead of the night and raised their record to 2-0 for the season. Oregon State dropped to 0-2.

And for the second time in two games, that play went the way for the University of Hawaii football team as the Warriors held on for a 31-28 victory over Oregon State tonight before an Aloha Stadium crowd of 25,141. The victory raised UH’s nonconference record to 2-0 and dropped OSU to 0-2.

After Meskell made the field goal, he kicked the ball out of bounds on the ensuing kickoff, giving OSU the ball at its own 40 with two minutes left. The Beavers needed only two plays to move across midfield and then another pass completion for a first down at the UH 34. Two incomplete passes by OSU quarterback Jake Luton led to a huge third-down play. So much so, UH called timeout to make sure everyone knew what to do.

An incomplete pass led to the 52-yard field-goal attempt by Choukair that he hooked wide left. UH was led by quarterback Cole McDonald who completed 30 of 52 passes for 421 yards and four touchdowns. All of the scoring strikes were to wideout JoJo Ward. He caught 10 passes for 189 yards. His four touchdown receptions tied a school record.

The defense should also get some credit. After yielding 28 points in the first half alone, the Warriors didn’t allow a point after intermission, giving the offense the opportunity to score late and escape with another win over a Pac-12 program.

With the score tied at 28-28, Hawaii began the fourth quarter with a first down at the OSU 22, but the drive stalled, leading to a 27-yard field-goal attempt by Meskell that he hooked wide left. It was his second miss of the game and gave the Beavers the ball at their own 20 in search of their first points of the second half.

Facing a fourth-and-1 at their own 29, the Beavers converted and began the long trek down field. It led to another fourth-down call at midfield, but this time, the Warriors held, forcing a turnover on downs at the UH 46 with 9:57 left in regulation. Hawaii picked up a quick first down, moving into OSU’s territory at the 42.

A third-down keeper by McDonald gave UH a first down at the 36 with about half the quarter left. A holding penalty on UH proved to be a drive killer as Meskell came in for a 48-yard field-goal attempt that he missed wide left, his third errant kick of the game in as many tries. It gave OSU the ball at its own 30 with 6:05 left. The Hawaii defense forced a huge three-and-out that led to a fake punt by Oregon State that failed miserably, giving UH the ball at its own 34 with 4:18 remaining.

A completed pass to Ward and a late hit by Omar Hicks-Onu gave UH the ball at its own 12. McDonald threw an incomplete pass and then kept it for 2 yards to set up a third-and-8 that led to another incomplete pass that led to a 28-yard field goal by Meskell that he knocked through to make it 31-28 with 2:o1 left. Meskell was 1-for-4 on field goals and that helped keep OSU in it.


  1. Chicken Grease September 7, 2019 10:45 pm

    Good game. Whooo hooo! Beatin’ PAC-12 teams.

    Spanked that Beavers!

  2. LizKauai September 7, 2019 11:48 pm

    Caught the end of the game on the radio after my great granddaughter’s first birthday party. Woo Hoo!
    Go, Rainbow Warriors!

  3. Chicken Grease September 8, 2019 7:26 am

    Game is going on now, SPCSP channel 1012 on Spectrum HD.

  4. Haleakala September 8, 2019 7:34 am

    Keep on rolling, Warriors!
    See you in Seattle on Saturday.

  5. iGrokSpock September 8, 2019 2:01 pm

    Not particularly pretty, but a win is a win is a win. And loving the run and shoot!

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