POSTED: 5:52 p.m. HST, Oct 2, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 1:18 a.m. HST, Oct 3, 2010
University of Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz threw four touchdown passes as the Warriors won their first Western Athletic Conference football opener since 2007.
The 41-21 victory over Louisiana Tech tonight at Aloha Stadium lifted Hawaii to 3-2 for the season and 1-0 in league play. The Bulldogs dropped to 1-4 and 0-1.
Slotback Kealoha Pilares set a school record with 18 receptions for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He broke the mark of 16 catches in one game set last year by Greg Salas. Salas didn't do too badly himself, catching 10 passes of his own for 197 yards and two scores.
Hawaii took the opening drive 61 yards before stalling at its own 19, setting up a 36-yard field-goal attempt that place-kicker Scott Enos hit to give the Warriors a 3-0 advantage with 8:46 left in the opening period.
The Warriors ran 6:14 off the clock on the 14-play drive that included two nice receptions by Salas. Hawaii converted a fourth and 1 on a Bryant Moniz option keeper, but the UH quarterback couldn't break LaTech's defense once inside the red zone.
After the defense forced consecutive three and outs, the Hawaii offense came to life with a nice 76-yard scoring drive that took only four plays. The last was a 27-yard scoring jaunt by running back Chizzy Dimude, who found a gaping hole to his liking on the right side. Enos added the extra point to make it 10-0 with 2:13 left in the first period.
Hawaii added to that advantage on another quick scoring drive, this time 60 yards on six plays. It was set up on an interception by senior safety Mana Silva. Moniz found Salas wide open twice for plays of 32 and 13 yards setting up the 7-yard scoring strike from Moniz to Pilares to make it 17-0 with 13:13 left in the half.
After the defense held LaTech once again, the UH offense wasted little time putting another touchdown on the board. A 66-yard catch and run by Pilares made it 24-0 after Enos' third PAT with 10:18 left in the half.
LaTech changed quarterbacks and it worked. The Bulldogs put together a punishing 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that included a fourth-down conversion that led to a 32-yard scoring strike from second-string quarterback Ross Jenkins to Richie Casey that gave the Bulldogs some momentum, cutting UH's lead to 24-7 with 2:49 left in the half.
That momentum carried over on the first series of the second half as LaTech quickly marched down the field out of a no-huddle set. The Warriors were befuddled, even calling timeout once the Bulldogs cracked the red zone, but it didn't matter as LaTech scored on a 1-yard run by Ray Holley.
It culminated an 11-play, 75-yard march as Nelson added his second PAT to make it 24-14 with 11:59 left in the third quarter. But Hawaii wasted little time getting a touchdown of its own.
Working out of an empty backfield, Moniz quickly led Hawaii down the field, going 75 yards on only five plays; the last one a 19-yard scoring strike to Salas. He caught three passes for 58 yards on the drive as Hawaii took a 31-14 advantage with 9:31 left in the third.
The Bulldogs were stopped on the ensuing series, throwing an incomplete pass on fourth down, giving Hawaii the ball at its own 47. The Warriors wasted little time putting another score on the board. Moniz set it up with a 21-yard scamper that took the Warriors down to LaTech's 22.
Two plays later, Moniz found Pilares for a 15-yard gain, setting up first and goal from the 7. But LaTech held as Enos hit a 24-yard field goal to make it 34-14 with 4:14 left in the third.
But LaTech was far from finished. The Bulldogs put together another quality drive going 61 yards on nine plays, the final one an 8-yard scoring pass from Jenkins to wideout Tim Molton to make it 34-21 with 2:04 left in the third.
Hawaii put the finishing touches on LaTech with a nifty nine-play, 78-yard drive that was set up on an interception by Jeramy Bryant. Several times Moniz made key plays to keep the drive alive, setting up the 29-yard scoring strike to Salas with 7:08 left in the game. Enos added his fourth PAT of the game to make it 41-21.