POSTED: 02:41 p.m. HST, Oct 12, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 07:27 p.m. HST, Oct 12, 2013
At the beginning of the season, most University of Hawaii football followers figured the Rainbow Warriors had a shot at getting a win in tonight's Mountain West Conference meeting against Nevada Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium.
But at the halfway point of the 2013 campaign, it's the UNLV Rebels riding a four-game win streak with Hawaii still without a victory through six starts.
UNLV place-kicker Nolan Kohorst hit a 43-yard field goal as time expired to give the Rebels a 39-37 win after Hawaii had retaken the lead on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Sean Schroeder to Chris Gant as Tyler Hadden added the PAT to make it 37-36 with 1:44 remaining in the game. But it wasn't enough for this hard-luck team that is 0-6 overall and 0-4 in MWC play. The Rebels are 4-2 for the season and 2-0 in league play.
After giving up 23 unanswered points in the second half, Hawaii scored 20 unanswered of their own to retake the lead in this back-and-forth affair that saw the Rebels gain control with 17 points in the third quarter.
The Rebels took the opening kickoff after intermission and drove 75 yards on 12 plays to regain the advantage. The final play was a 10-yard touchdown pass from UNLV quarterback Caleb Herring to receiver Anthony Williams at the 12:04 mark of the third quarter. Kohorst added the PAT to give UNLV a 20-17 lead.
The Rebels added another three on a 42-yard field goal by Kohorst, his third of the game, to make it 23-17 with 8:13 remaining in the third quarter and added a touchdown on their next series, going 65 yards on nine tough plays. Rebels running back Tim Cornett punctuated the series with a 5-yard scoring run, his second of the game, as Kohorst put through the PAT to make it 30-17 with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter.
UNLV increased the margin with another score after a UH fumble by wideout Donnie King set up a first and goal for the Rebels. Two plays later, Herring ran a perfect quarterback draw from 8 yards out to score and make it 36-17 with 13:11 remaining in the game. The try for 2 failed.
Hawaii finally stopped the bleeding with a nine-play, 72-yard drive that ended on a 15-yard scoring run by Steven Lakalaka as the try for 2 failed to make it 36-23 with 8:11 remaining in the game.
The Rainbows ran it to 14 unanswered points with a quick 48-yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to Billy Ray Stutzmann as Hadden added the PAT to make it 36-30 with six minutes remaining.
In an equally crazy first half that saw no points in the opening period, Hawaii scored first on a 31-yard field goal by Hadden that culminated an 11-play, 48-yard drive at the 12:46 mark of the second quarter. The Rebels came back on an 11-play drive of their own that resulted in a 35-yard field goal by Kohorst that made it 3-3 with 9:22 remaining in the half.
The Warriors squandered an 86-yard kickoff return by Bubba Poueu-Luna that gave UH the ball at the 10. After a variety of penalties, Hadden was to attempt a 39-yard field goal, but a bad snap left UH with no points.
The Rebels took over at their own 22 and drove to the UH 1, but had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Kohorst that ended a 10-play, 77-yard drive to give UNLV a 6-3 lead with 4:02 remaining in the half.
Back came Hawaii on a nice scoring drive of 57 yards on only four plays. The big one was a 36-yard keeper by freshman quarterback Ikaika Woolsey that gave the Warriors a first and 10 at the UNLV 12. Schroeder hit a wide open King from there as Hadden added the PAT to make it 10-6 with 2:26 remaining in the half.
But back came the Rebels on a four-play scoring drive of their own as Cornett scored from 1 yard out. Kohorst added the PAT to make it 13-10 with 1:35 remaining in the half.
Not to be outdone, the Warriors added another touchdown of their own. The five-play, 59-yard drive ended on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to Gant as Hadden made the PAT to give UH a 17-13 advantage with 32 seconds left in the half
Twice in the first quarter, the Rebels drove into Warriors territory and twice Hawaii held UNLV on big fourth-down attempts. The first time was on a fourth and goal at the UH 2 that ended with a sack of Herring by Beau Yap. The second time, the Rebels had fourth and 1 at the UH 18, but Cornett was stuffed by UH linebacker Art Laurel for a loss of 2.