POSTED: 06:18 p.m. HST, Nov 24, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 12:22 a.m. HST, Nov 25, 2012
Two teams desperate for a victory entering tonight's Mountain West Conference football game, Hawaii broke out on top early en route to a 48-10 win before an Aloha Stadium crowd of 22,070.
The victory was the first in nine weeks for Hawaii, snapping an eight-game losing streak. Hawaii is now 2-9 for the season and concludes its first year in the MWC at 1-7. UNLV fell to 2-11 overall and 2-6 in MWC play. The Rebels haven't won a road game since Oct. 24, 2009 at New Mexico. They have dropped 22 in a row.
Up by 31 at the half, Hawaii scored first in the second half as well. Two long completions by starting UH quarterback Sean Schroeder, including a 32-yarder to burly running back Joey Iosefa, set up a 26-yard field goal by Tyler Hadden to extend UH's lead to 34-0 with 6:16 left in the third quarter.
Scott Harding got into the act on a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown to give UH a 41-0 advantage after Hadden added the PAT. Earlier in the fourth, Hadden missed a field goal from 50 yards that hit the left upright.
UNLV place-kicker Nolan Kohorst was a little more accurate, hitting a 43-yard field goal with 9:20 left in the game to get the Rebels their first points and UNLV quarterback Nick Sherry threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Spencer late in the fourth to cut the margin to 41-10 as Kohorst added the PAT.
Hawaii added another touchdown late on a 13-yard run by Will Gregory that was set up on a missed onside kick opportunity by UNLV. Hadden added the PAT with 1:31 left to make it 48-10. But the game had been decided long before that thanks to a nice first half by UH.
Schroeder had one of his better games this season, completing 13 of 24 for 201 yards and a touchdown before being lifted late in the third. He led the Warriors on a crisp nine-play drive to open the game that was helped along by two offside penalties by UNLV on key third-down situations.
Iosefa made the Rebels pay for it on a solid 25-yard scoring run. Hadden added the PAT as UH led 7-0 with 10:05 left in the opening period. It was the second consecutive game Hawaii scored on its opening drive.
The Rebels got a nice kickoff return, but didn't capitalize on it after UNLV punter Chase Lansford had his effort travel zero yards. UH set up shop first and 10 at midfield and quickly moved into scoring position on a pair of completions by Schroeder.
Facing a third and 8 at the UNLV 20, Schroeder's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, setting up a 37-yard field-goal attempt by Hadden that went wide left. That left the score 7-0 with 4:54 left in the first.
The Hawaii defense had another nice stand near midfield late in the first quarter, stopping UNLV on a fourth and 1. It gave the offense the football at the UH 49. Another UNLV penalty, this time roughing the passer, pushed the ball to the UNLV 36 as the first quarter ended.
Facing a third and 6, Schroeder hit Ryan Hall for a big completion to the UNLV 22. Three plays later, Schroeder connected with a stretched out Billy Ray Stutzmann for 17 yards to set up a first and goal at the 5. Three snaps later from the 1, Sterling Jackson bulled in for the score, his first touchdown of 2012. Hadden added the PAT to make it 14-0 with 11:56 left in the second.
After forcing another three and out, UH quickly moved into scoring position against a hapless UNLV defense. Facing third and 3 from the Rebels 7, Schroder hit Iosefa on a quick pass for the big back's second touchdown of the game. Hadden added the PAT to make it 21-0 UH with 5:23 left in the half.
Hawaii extended the lead to 28-0 with 1:50 left before intermission on a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown by John Hardy-Tuliau. Hadden added the PAT. He had a second interception late in the game.
Another bad punt by Lansford gave UH the ball at the UNLV 8 right before the half. The punt traveled minus 9 yards as Hadden hit a 23-yard field goal as time expired to make it 31-0.