The University of Hawaii football team got its revenge and downed UNLV 31-25 on Saturday night at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex.
Hawaii improves to 3-9 overall and 2-5 in Mountain West play, while UNLV drops to 4-7 overall and 2-5 in conference games. With the victory, Hawaii got the Island Showdown Trophy back after losing it last year and also knocked the Rebels out of bowl contention.
All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station
On Saturday night, Daniel Gutierrez started off the scoring with a 27-yard field goal with 10:43 left in the first quarter for UNLV.
Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala’s second touchdown of the year, a wide-open 15-yard pass from Brayden Schager, gave Hawaii a 7-3 lead with 7:42 left in the first quarter.
Gutierrez’s second field goal of the day cut the Hawaii lead to 7-6 with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. The Rebels took the lead back on their first touchdown of the day, a 1-yard pass from Doug Brumfield to Jeff Weimer.
Hawaii took the lead back on its first possession in the third quarter as Schager found an open Caleb Phillips for an 11-yard touchdown with 10:40 left in the third quarter.
The Rainbow Warriors converted a Logan Taylor interception into a field goal to stretch its lead to 24-16 with 12:17 left.
As the playing surface at Ching became slippery due to torrential downpour during parts of the night, both teams were affected, especially the ‘Bows, as a Brayden Schager fumble in his own red zone turned into a Elijah Shelton scoop and score that cut the UH lead to 24-22 with 8:13 left.
Hawaii missed out on an opportunity to stretch its lead to two possessions when Tylan Hines fumbled the ball at the UNLV 11, but the Rainbow Warriors made sure they wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. After UNLV turned it over on downs, Dedrick Parson gave UH a 31-22 lead with a 34-yard rushing touchdown with 2:51 remaining.
Gutierrez’s 40-yard field goal trimmed the UH lead to 31-25 with 1:04 remaining, but the ‘Bows recovered the ensuing onside kick and successfully ran out the rest of the clock to seal the win.
Schager completed 16 of his 27 passes for 202 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in arguably his most efficient performance of the year. Meanwhile, Parson added a game-high 115 yards on 19 carries.
Defensively, Taylor finished with a team-high 11 tackles, including one for loss, and an interception.
For UNLV, Brumfield completed 23 of his 37 passes for 288 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while Kyle Williams hauled in five catches for a game-high 111 yards. Defensively, Austin Ajiake had a game-high 15 tackles (11 solo).
After the game, Hawaii honored 24 seniors as part of its senior night festivities, although multiple players have extra eligibility and intend to use it next year.
Hawaii closes out its season next Saturday at San Jose State. Kickoff is set for 10:30 a.m. HST.