HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i football team saw another valiant comeback fall short in a 35-28 defeat to Colorado State Saturday night in a Mountain West contest at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
The Rainbow Warriors (0-7, 0-5 MW) remained winless after rallying from a 35-17 halftime deficit only to see their comeback fall short with a hail mary in the endzone fall incomplete.
Quarterback Sean Schroeder passed for a career-high 349 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another score. His main target was receiver Chris Gant, who hauled in eight catches for a career-high 159 yards and one score.
With the Rams leading 35-17 at halftime, the second half wasn't much of an offensive shootout as the teams were scoreless in the third quarter and for the first half of the fourth quarter. Schroeder then led the Warriors to consecutive scoring drives to pull UH to within 35-28 with 2:54 remaining.
After forcing the Rams to punt, Hawai'i took over one last time with 1:24 left but only managed to drive to the CSU 45-yard line before Taylor Graham's heave into the endzone dropped to Aloha Stadium turf.
UH's defense came up big in the second half, shutting out the Rams in seven possessions while allowing only 95 yards of total offense. Linebacker Art Laurel led the UH defense with 10 tackles, including one sack.
The Rams (4-4, 2-1) controlled the tempo in the first half, scoring on five of their nine possessions and tallying 313 yards of offense, including 165 on the ground. CSU running back Kapri Bibbs scored the first of his three first half touchdowns during the Rams' first drive.
After a 78-yard kickoff return by Diocemy Saint Juste on the ensuing kickoff, two plays later, Schroeder was stripped of the ball which was scooped up by CSU's Max Morgan and returned 73-yards for a touchdown.
But just as fast, the Rainbow Warriors answered with a 38-yard pass play from Schroeder to Gant during a six-play drive but the Rams scored on their next possession as Garrett Grayson hooked up with Crock Gillmore on a 20-yard strike.
Down 21-7, UH answered again as Schroeder marched the Warriors downfield in five plays capped by a 27-yard pass to Billy Ray Stutzmann, the fourth straight game the senior has scored.
CSU continued to pound it on the ground with two more Bibbs' rushing touchdowns – sandwiched by a UH field goal – to push its lead to 35-17.
Graham made his first appearance at quarterback since the third game of the season but his first attempt was picked off. The junior finished the game 3-of-7 for 37 yards.
The Rainbow Warriors will next embark on a two-game road trip against Utah State, Nov. 2 and Navy, Nov. 9.
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