Big Plays Lead To Convincing 47-27 Hawai‘i WinPosted on Sep 21, 2015 in UH Corner
HONOLULU— Big plays were the name of the game for the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors as they catapulted themselves past UC Davis 47-27, Saturday, in a non-conference match-up at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
The defense kept the Rainbow Warriors (2-1, 0-0 MW) in the game early as they have done frequently early on in the season, taking a 13-10 lead into halftime. Once the second half came around the ‘Bows exploded for 34 points on numerous big plays including a 95-yard touchdown run by Paul Harris, a punt block and return for a touchdown by Dejuan Butler, and a resurgent passing attack that featured a pair of 100-yard receivers.
Quarterback Max Wittek unleashed a sorely needed aerial assault, going 17-of-24 for 274 yards and two touchdowns. His main targets, receivers Marcus Kemp and Devan Stubblefield both finished the game with over 100 yards receiving – Kemp catching five passes for 119 yards and a touchdown while Stubblefield reeling in six passes for 108 yards and another score. Harris matched the receiving corps gaudy stats with a excellent stat line of his own, gaining 147 yards on just 11 carries, while also scoring a touchdown.
The defense was lead by linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams who posted a career-high 15 total tackles and lineman Kennedy Tulimasealii, who caused fits for the Aggies with a pair of tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
UC Davis (0-3, 0-0) was lead on offense by Ben Scott who went 18-of-35 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Chris Martin was his go-to target nabbing four catches for 123 yards and a score.
Rigoberto Sanchez booked a pair of field goals for UH’s first two scores, including a career-long 46-yarder which gave the Warriors a 6-3 lead. UC Davis responded with 12-play, 75-yard drive as Scott found fullback Derek Baljou for an eight-yard score – the first passing touchdown allowed by the Warrior defense this season.
The response by the Warriors was immediate — Keelan Ewaliko returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards setting up a Wittek-to-Stubblefield score from 14-yards out and a 13-10 lead.
Scoring off the longest rushing play in school history and tied for the second longest in Mountain West history is not a bad way to start the second half for the Warriors, breaking a school record that stood since 1955. Harris took a handoff and broke it off to the outside, blazing his way to the record and a 20-10 lead.
The magic continued in the third quarter as the Warrior defense once again made a play as defensive back Nick Nelson forced a fumble that was recovered by Marrell Jackson. With a mixture of run and pass plays the ‘Bows gracefully marched down the field, punching the ball into the endzone on a Melvin Davis‘ 1-yard blast, increasing the lead to 26-10 with 3:31 left in the third quarter.
Momentum for the Warriors continued into the fourth quarter as receivers Kemp and Stubblefield put on a pass catching clinic. The ‘Bows bust the game open as Kemp got into the scoring act, catching a 19-yard touchdown from Wittek, the score pushed the lead to 33-10 with 13:02 to go in the fourth.
Answering back with a big play of their own, the Aggies 69-yard strike from Scott to Martin, brought them back to within 33-17. But as quickly as UCD scored, UH answered back in emphatic fashion with five-play, 65-yard drive, that took only 1:24. Davis hammered in his second touchdown, this time a five-yard plunge, pushing the score to 40-17.
The final nail in the coffin came as the ‘Bows special teams stepped up once again with Butler’s blocked, scoop and score, increasing the lead to 47-17.
The Rainbow Warriors return to the road next week to take on another Big 10 power, Wisconsin in Madison, Wisc., Saturday, Sept. 26. Kick-off is 7:00 p.m. CT (2:00 p.m. HT).