Mililani’s Dillon Gabriel throws four touchdowns in comeback victory for UCF over Boise State


Central Florida quarterback Dillon Gabriel, left, runs for yardage past Boise State defensive end Isaiah Bagnah (30) and defensive tackle Michael Callahan (92) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Mililani alumnus and UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed 25 of his 37 passes for 318 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions as the Knights beat Boise State 36-31 on Thursday night.

In what was the season opener for both teams, Boise State raced to a 21-0 lead, aided by Tyric LeBeauf’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown off of Gabriel during UCF’s first offensive possession.

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From there, the Knights (1-0) outscored the Broncos (0-1) 36-10 down the stretch, led by Gabriel’s four touchdowns. His second touchdown of the day was an 8-yard touchdown pass to Campbell alum and 2019 Cover2 Marcus Mariota award winner Titus Mokiao-Atimalala.

Mokiao-Atimalala finished with three receptions for 19 yards.

Gabriel also ran the ball 12 times for 64 yards.

Both teams featured head coaches who were debuting at their respective schools, as Gus Malzahn was coaching his first game for UCF while Boise State’s Andy Avalos was making his head coaching debut for his alma mater.

For Boise State, defensive back and Kahuku alum Kekaula Kaniho finished with eight tackles and a pass breakup, but was ejected late in the fourth quarter for targeting.

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