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Fresno State holds on in wild MWC game

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:42 p.m. HST, Sep 28, 2013

Playing before an Aloha Stadium crowd of 25,256, the University of Hawaii football team lost 42-37 in tonight's Mountain West Conference game with No. 25-ranked Fresno State.

After building an 18-point advantage in the first half, Fresno State took the opening drive of the second and went 75 yards on nine plays for the score. Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr found favorite target Josh Harper in the back of the end zone from 9 yards out and Colin McGuire added the PAT to make it 28-3 with 11:01 left in the third quarter.

Fresno State came back and scored again on its next series of the second half, this time going 68 yards on 10 plays. Marteze Waller scored his second touchdown from 1 yard out and McGuire added the PAT to make it 35-3 with 6:57 remaining in the third quarter.

Chris Gant gave Hawaii good field position with a 50-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, but two plays later Rainbow Warriors quarterback Ikaika Woolsey was picked off by L.J. Jones, who returned it untouched 56 yards for a score. McGuire made the PAT to give Fresno State a 42-3 lead with 6:15 left in the third.

Then Hawaii caught fire, scoring 34 unanswered points to get back in the game.

The Rainbow Warriors scored on their next series on a 3-yard run by Steven Lakalaka, his first in his collegiate career. Tyler Hadden added the PAT to cut Fresno State's advantage to 42-10 with 5:54 remaining in the third. The scoring play was set up on a 60-yard completion from Sean Schroeder to Chris Gant.

Schroeder replaced Woolsey, who was largely ineffective in his first start. The Californian completed seven of 19 for 56 yards and one interception. He rushed 12 times for 4 yards.

The Rainbow Warriors picked off a Carr pass on the next series and turned it into a touchdown. UH linebacker Art Laurel pulled down a batted pass and gave Hawaii the ball at Fresno's 43-yard line. Two plays later, Schroeder found Keith Kirkwood for a 23-yard score and Hadden hit the PAT to make it 42-17 with 3:22 remaining in the third.

Hawaii wasted little time scoring again early in the fourth quarter on a four-play, 68-yard drive by Schroeder. He hit Gant for 50 yards to set up a 16-yard scoring strike to Vasquez Haynes, his first touchdown of his collegiate career. Hadden added the PAT to make it 42-24 with 14:16 remaining in the game. Schroeder hit his first five passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns

The Warriors cut the margin to 12 on a 35-yard scoring pass from Schroeder to Billy Ray Stutzmann. The drive was set up on Fresno State's fifth turnover of the game, a fumble recovered by TJ Taimatuia. The try for 2 failed as Hawaii trailed 42-30 with 11:50 remaining.

Hawaii cut it to five on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that ended on a 1-yard run by Lakalaka and Hadden added the PAT to cut the margin to 42-37 with 7:51 left in the game.

Fresno State scored with ease early in the game as well. After forcing a rapid three and out on Hawaii's first possession, the Bulldogs went 53 yards on six plays to make it 7-0 with 12:08 left in the first quarter. Carr threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Harper and McGuire added the PAT.

The Bulldogs extended their advantage to 14-0 with 6:01 remaining in the opening quarter on a 1-yard run by Waller as McGuire knocked the PAT through the uprights. After holding Hawaii on a fourth-down try, the Bulldogs marched 70 yards on 11 plays for the score.

Carr scored from 1 yard out on a fourth-and-goal keeper to cap a nine-play, 62-yard drive as McGuire made the PAT to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 21-0 with 13:05 left in the half. Carr appeared to have fumbled to set up the first and goal at the 1, but after a booth review the call on the field stood.

Hawaii finally got on the board on a 48-yard field goal by Hadden to cut the margin to 18 points with 3:16 remaining in the half. Hawaii had a first and 10 at the 15, but went steadily backwards from that point.

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