After the first meeting between Hawaii and Wyoming since 2018, the Paniolo Trophy will not be coming back to the islands after a 31-7 loss for the Rainbow Warriors at the hands of the Cowboys. Both teams are now 1-1.
Like their game against Fresno State last week, the Rainbow Warriors had a slow start. Wyoming took a quick 7-0 lead after going 62 yards in five plays on the game’s opening drive, capped off by Xazavian Valladay’s 18-yard rushing score with 12:53 remaining in the first quarter.
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The ‘Bows continued to propel the home team when quarterback Chevan Cordeiro let the ball slip out of his hands for a fumble on the team’s first offensive possession on the Hawaii 25. But the Rainbow Warrior defense was solid, holding the Cowboys to a field goal and no other points for the remainder of the first half.
Cordeiro completed just one pass in the first quarter, which went for an 8-yard loss to running back Miles Reed. It wasn’t until the 3:32 mark in the second quarter that Cordeiro had more than zero passing yards, but a 47-yard deep ball to Zion Bowens put the ‘Bows in Wyoming territory for the first time. The Rainbow Warriors capped the drive with a 4-yard score by freshman running back Dae Dae Hunter, whose first college touchdown cut the deficit to 10-7, a score that carried into halftime.
The Rainbow Warriors had a chance to tie the game in the third quarter, but Matthew Shipley’s 44-yard field goal attempt went wide right. The Cowboys got their lead back up to 10 after an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Trey Smith’s two-yard touchdown run with 4:22 remaining in the third.
Hawaii’s defense kept the team in the game, but the ‘Bows could not capitalize offensively. Down 17-7, Cordeiro was intercepted on a tipped ball by Cowboys linebacker Charles Hicks, which he returned all the way to the UH 17. Valladay scored his second touchdown of the day with a 6-yard run, extending Wyoming’s lead to 24-7 with 8:19 remaining.
Wyoming sealed the game when Cordeiro was sacked on fourth down at the Hawaii 38, which the Cowboys followed with a Trey Smith touchdown with 1:48 remaining.
Cordeiro, who was sacked five times, completed 11 of his 26 passes for 110 yards and an interception. It was the first game he lost as a UH starter. Wyoming ran the ball 59 times for 281 yards and four touchdowns, as the Rainbow Warrior defense was unable to produce a sack.
Defensive end Darius Muasau had a game-high 14 tackles for Hawaii, who two of them for a loss.
Next up for the Rainbow Warriors is their home opener against New Mexico at Aloha Stadium on Nov. 7. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. HST. The game is not open to fans but will be available for purchase on pay-per-view.