Hawaii reclaims Paniolo Trophy after first win at Wyoming since 1991

Sports

Courtesy Hawaii Athletics

In its 2021 regular season finale, the University of Hawaii football team walloped Wyoming 38-14 for its first win in Laramie since 1991 on Saturday.

Hawaii improved to 6-7 overall and 3-5 in Mountain West Conference play, while Wyoming dropped to 6-6 overall and 3-5 in conference as well. The Rainbow Warriors now must wait to see how the rest of the day in college football unfolds to see if they are bowl eligible, as a handful of 5-6 teams will take the field on Saturday. UH would receive priority over any given 5-7 team.

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The Rainbow Warriors scored on the game’s first possession, capped by Chevan Cordeiro’s 8-yard rushing score with 12:06 left in the first quarter. After Wyoming’s John Hoyland missed a 53-yard field goal on its first drive, the ‘Bows drove down the field again and took a 14-0 lead on Calvin Turner’s 2-yard touchdown with 3:49 left in the opening period.

Hawaii stretched its lead to 21-0 with 12:39 left in the second quarter after Cordeiro found an open Steven Fiso for a 19-yard score, then expanded its advantage to 24-0 on a 25-yard Matthew Shipley field goal with 5:22 remaining in the half. Wyoming finally got on the scoreboard after a 4-yard rushing score by Titus Swen with 1:36 left in the first half.

Just when it seemed that the Rainbow Warriors were content to head into the break with a 24-7 lead, Chevan Cordeiro and Jared Smart connected on a 50-yard Hail Mary as the first half clock expired to give UH a 31-7 advantage at halftime.

After a Cordeiro interception in the red zone, Wyoming cut the Hawaii lead to 31-14 with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Levi Williams to Isaiah Neyor with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter.

Despite having multiple opportunities to score, the Cowboys could not cut into the deficit before Hawaii put the game away on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Cordeiro to a wide-open Fiso with 6:27 remaining, the second time the two connected on a score on Saturday.

Cordeiro completed 19 of 31 passes for a game-high 323 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He also carried the ball 14 times for a game-high 86 yards and an additional score.

Defensively, Khoury Bethley was the only player on either team reaching the double-digit mark with a game-high 12 tackles, including a tackle for loss.

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