In first-ever on-campus football game, Hawaii outlasts Portland State 49-35

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Hawaii running back Calvin Turner Jr. (7) runs the ball after making catch, just out of reach of Portland State safety Anthony Adams (14) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Darryl Oumi)

In its first ever on-campus game, the University of Hawaii football team outlasted Portland State 49-35 at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex on the UH-Manoa campus.

After falling to UCLA 44-10 at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 28, the Rainbow Warriors (1-1) got into a rhythm early and scored on the opening drive of the game, which was capped by a 23-yard pass from Chevan Cordeiro to Nick Mardner.

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In UH’s next possession, Calvin Turner reversed field for a magical 34-yard touchdown in his first rush of the year.

Hawaii continued to pour it on with a 20-yard touchdown from Cordeiro to Jared Smart, which was preceded by an interception by UH defensive tackle Pita Tonga.

The ‘Bows led 28-0 with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter after Dedrick Parson scored his first touchdown in a UH uniform on a 17-yard run.

Portland State (0-1) got on the board in the first play of the second quarter, a 39-yard pass from Davis Alexander to Mataio Talaemotu. UH didn’t score again in the first half until a four-yard touchdown pass from Cordeiro to Aaron Cephus, giving the ‘Bows a 35-7 advantage at the break.

The Vikings got their second score of the game on Malik Walker’s 1-yard score with 10:03 left in the third quarter to cut the UH lead to 35-14.

After Hawaii extended its lead to 42-14 on Parson’s second touchdown of the day, Portland State scored two touchdowns within eight seconds of each other to close the third quarter. After Beau Kelly hauled in a 23-yard pass from Alexander, Turner muffed the ensuing kickoff, which was recovered in the end zone by Tyreese Shakir for an additional PSU score to cut the UH lead to 42-28.

Hawaii absorbed Portland State’s best shot but put the game away on Dae Dae Hunter’s 59-yard rushing touchdown with 9:58 remaining, which gave Hawaii a 49-28 lead.

Portland State got its final score of the game on Nate Bennett’s 11-yard touchdown reception with 1:13 left. The Vikings recovered the ensuing onside kick but could not add another score.

Despite the 49 points being the most Hawaii has scored under head coach Todd Graham, the ‘Bows displayed some sloppiness, turning the ball over three times with a total of five fumbles.

Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro completed 18 of his 25 passes for 305 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, while Hunter carried the ball 16 times for 128 yards.

Defensively, Justus Tavai and Kai Kaneshiro led Hawaii with six tackles each, with Tavai adding 1.5 tackles for loss.

For Portland State, Kelly and Darien Chase each had six receptions for over 100 yards, while Ryan Lesch had a game-high nine tackles.

The ‘Bows will hit the road again for their next game, where they’ll take on Oregon State on Sept. 11. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The game will also be televised on FS1.

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