Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014    

Navy holds on to beat Hawaii

By Star-Advertiser Staff

POSTED: 10:51 a.m. HST, Nov 09, 2013

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As another long road trip drew to a close, one thing we knew for certain, a Hawaii-born head coach would walk away a winner in today's nonconference football game between the Naval Academy and the University of Hawaii in Annapolis, Md.

Rainbow Warriors head coach Norm Chow wanted to get back to the days when UH was the favorite in these matchups, while Midshipmen main man Kenny Niumatalolo, a former Rainbow coach and player himself, liked the current tilt just fine.

His spread formation, born from the days of former UH offensive coordinator Paul Johnson, had a familiar feel to it. And just as important, it was equally effective as Navy won 42-28.

The 12th consecutive road loss dropped Hawaii to 0-9 for the season. Navy is 5-4 after coming off a tough defeat to Notre Dame last week, and played like it the opening 30 minutes. But sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds came to life, rushing for 226 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw for another to secure the victory.

Tied 14-14 at intermission, Navy took the opening kickoff of the second half and went 70 yards on 11 plays to regain the lead on a 12-yard run by Quinton Singleton as Nick Sloan added the PAT with 9:52 remaining in the third quarter.

Midway through the drive, Hawaii thought it had an interception by John Hardy-Tuliau, but a roughing-the-passer penalty by Beau Yap kept it alive and the Midshipmen made the Warriors pay for it.

The woes of the third quarter continued for Hawaii after a three-and-out on its opening series, followed by a 24-yard punt, gave Navy the ball at its own 49. Reynolds scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from 6 yards out as Sloan was true with the PAT to make it 28-14 Navy with 4:39 remaining in the third.

Navy forced another three-and-out on UH's next series, followed by another short punt by backup kicker Ruben Guzman, to give Navy the ball at its own 48. Reynolds cut loose again on a 27-yard scamper that gave the Midshipmen a first-and-goal at the 9. But Hawaii held on a fourth-down try as Reynolds came up a half-yard short.

From there, the Rainbow Warriors went on their best drive of the year, going 99 yards on the broad shoulder pads of long, lost, injured running back Joey Iosefa, who went the final 6 to score as Tyler Hadden added the PAT to cut Navy's lead to 28-21 with 9:31 remaining in the game. The drive was 18 plays as Iosefa rushed for 191 yards in the game.

Navy needed less than a minute to respond as Reynolds scored his third touchdown, this time from 67 yards out as Sloan added the PAT to make it 35-21 Navy with 8:51 remaining. But Hawaii refused to go gently into that good night.

The Warriors came back with another long drive of their own. Going 72 yards with Iosefa, Schroeder and tight end Clark Evans as the main movers and shakers, Hawaii drew to within 7 with 4:36 remaining. Evans caught a 6-yard pass from Scrhoeder on a fourth-and-goal play as Hadden hit the PAT to draw closer at 35-28.

Reynolds refused to go down, driving Navy quickly down the field, scoring from 21 yards out to make it 42-28 with 1:36 remaining.

The Midshipmen scored their first touchdown of the game off a miscue by the Warriors. After forcing Hawaii to kick away on its opening possession, they took over at its own 21 and moved into UH territory where it was forced to punt.

With normal return man Scott Harding sidelined with an injury suffered in the opening series, backup Donnie King Jr. tried to field a short kick on the run and mishandled it. Navy's Kenneth Mouton recovered it at the Hawaii 26.

The Midshipmen struck quickly as Reynolds faked a handoff, dropped back and found a wide open Marcus Thomas behind the UH defense for the easy score. Sloan added the PAT to give Navy the touchdown advantage with 10:08 remaining in the first quarter.

For a second time, Hawaii drove into Navy territory behind Iosefa, who had 103 yards rushing on 17 carries in the first half alone. The drive stalled at the Navy 18 setting up a 36-yard-field-goal attempt for Hadden, who hooked it wide left. The snap was bad and holder Ikaika Woolsey couldn't spin the laces, leading to the miss.

After holding Navy on a fourth-down try on its ensuing series, the Hawaii offense drove the football effectively behind the running game of Iosefa and the precise throws of Schroeder, who hit 15 of 16 in the first half for 135 yards. For the game, the senior hit 29 of 33 for 246 yards and three touchdowns. He was sacked twice and didn't throw an interception.

But the drive stalled at the 9, leading to another missed field goal by Hadden. He hooked it again, this time from the 26 as Navy took over with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

The Hawaii defense forced a punt and Iosefa and Schroeder didn't disappoint as UH went 65 yards on six plays; the big one, a 40-yard scoring strike from Schroeder to Keith Kirkwood as Hadden added the PAT to make it 7-7 with 6:21 remaining in the half.

Navy came right back to regain the lead behind the running and throwing of Reynolds, who had a 32-yard scamper and an 18-yard completion. He punctuated the eight-play, 75-yard drive with a keeper from 1 yard out. Sloan barely made the PAT to give Navy the 14-7 advantage with 3:37 remaining in the half.

Hawaii came right back to tie it up on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Schroeder to Evans with 45 seconds remaining in the half. Hadden added the PAT. Hawaii started the drive at its own 35 and quickly moved through the Navy defense that couldn't stop Iosefa. He had so many carries, he had to take himself out of the game for a breather after setting up UH for a first-and-goal at the 9.

Schroeder, off play-action, found a wide open Evans in the flat for the game-tying score. He led all receivers with nine catches for 62 yards and two scores.

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