For one fleeting moment on this date in 1949, James Gomard went back to his roots.
Gomard started at center and cleared the way for Hawaii to gain 314 yards in a 41-14 rout of Fresno State in front of 15,000 fans at Honolulu Stadium. The Roaring Rainbows scored 27 points in the first quarter, and then it was time to have some fun.
Gomard, who was a backfield star for Kamehameha in his prep days, was forced to the offensive line and bulked up from 168 to 191 pounds. He still served as quarterback on the Rainbow Reserves team, but his main job was anchoring the offensive line in front of guys like Johnny Dang, Jimmy Asato and Sol Kaululkui.
With 40 seconds left in the blowout, Gomard got his shot. Gomard snapped the ball to quarterback Charley Bessette then ignored his blocking responsibilities by sprinting past Bessette into the backfield while the running backs held the line. Bessette then pitched the ball backward to Gomard.
The former quarterback still had his stuff, heaving the ball as far as he could and hitting wide-open Dick Carpenter for a 50-yard gain, almost a third of UH’s passing output that day.
There was no talk of UH coach Tommy Kaulukukui running up the score on the poor Bulldogs, but it might have come back to bit the Rainbows. Hawaii lost 75-0 to Pacific the following week and then fell to Stanford 74-20 in the Pineapple Bowl. Pacific scored 24 points in the final quarter while Stanford rolled up 42 points.