JAN 1, 1947: Buddy Abreu gives Hawaii its first Pineapple Bowl

No rainbow, no problem.

On this date in 1947, Hawaii won its first Pineapple Bowl with a 19-16 win over Utah. In previous games, a rainbow over the field was credited with sparking UH rallies but in this one the rainbow didn’t show until after the game.

Honolulu Advertiser reporter Andrew Mitsukado called it “the most thrilling football game ever played on a local gridiron.”

Hawaii led 19-7 before the Utes scored with 4 minutes left. The Rainbows were stuck in the shadow of their own end zone and elected to yield a safety rather than risk a punt block with less than a minute left.

Hawaii captain Buddy Abreu, who made the decision to give up the two points, punted 62 yards on the free kick but all-Big-Seven halfback Cannon Parkinson returned it 42 yards and stepped out of bounds at the 40 to give his team a play with one second left.


Parkinson dropped back and heaved a hail mary to Tex Van Sandt. The receiver looked to be in the clear but Abreu came from out of nowhere to knock the pass down at the goal line.


This Pineapple Bowl drew 22,000 fans to Honolulu Stadium and was the first since 1941 but there was a Poi Bowl in 1945.

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