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Hawaii holds on for first win

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:37 a.m. HST, Dec 1, 2013

In a night of remembrance for a fallen comrade, the University of Hawaii football team did its best to forget a disappointing season. The best way to do that? Get a win.

And that's exactly what Hawaii did.

The Rainbow Warriors got off to a fast start in Saturday night's nonconference football game at Aloha Stadium and turned that into a 49-42 victory before an Aloha Stadium crowd of 27,157. The nonconference victory helped Hawaii avoid its second winless season in 15 years. They finished 1-11. Army dropped to 3-8 and still has its season-ending game with the Naval Academy.

UH quarterback Sean Schroeder threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns in the win. The Warriors had two players finish with more than 100 yards on the ground for the first time since 2009. Joey Iosefa had 154 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown. He also threw a touchdown pass on a big fourth-down play. Steve Lakalaka had 104 yards on 19 carries and scored a touchdown as well.

After building a 21-point advantage in the opening half, Hawaii got the ball first to start the third quarter, but quickly gave it back to Army in prime field position on a fumble by Marcus Langkilde. The Black Knights quickly moved into scoring position, setting up a first-and-goal from the 2.

Backup quarterback A.J. Schurr, who started the second half, took it in from there to cut UH's advantage to 28-14 as Daniel Grochowski added the PAT with 11:38 left in the third quarter.

Army attempted an onside kick and recovered it at the UH 38-yard line as Hawaii's woes in the third quarter continued. With new life, the Black Knights quickly moved into scoring position on a 34-yard run by Schurr that set up a 2-yard scoring run by the Army quarterback as Grochowski hit the PAT to cut the margin to 28-21 with 10:39 left in the third quarter.

And Schrurr wasn't done yet. After the defense forced UH to punt again, the Black Knights went 68 yards on seven plays to draw even at 28-28 with 6:17 left in the third quarter. Schurr hit Xavier Moss with a 48-yard strike that set up the Army quarterback's 1-yard run as Grochowski added the PAT.

Hawaii finally woke up from its second-half sleep to retake the lead on a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended on an 8-yard scoring run by Iosefa as Tyler Hadden hit the PAT to make it 35-28 UH with 4:40 left in the third quarter. On the drive, Schroeder found wide receiver Scott Harding for a 36-yard completion that set up the scoring play.

The Rainbows added to their lead with another good drive, going 76 yards on seven plays. Lakalaka scored from 1 yard out and Hadden added the PAT to make it 42-28 UH with 1:27 left in the third quarter.

But Army wasn't done. With the help of two 15-yard penalties by UH, the Black Knights moved into scoring position with a first-and-10 at the UH 16. Two plays later, Army scored on an 11-yard run by fullback Matt Giachinta as Grochowski added the PAT to cut UH's margin to 42-35 with 14:21 remaining in the game.

Back came Hawaii, on a nice 13-play, 75-yard drive of its own that ended with Schroeder keeping it from 6 yards out as Hadden hit the PAT to extend UH's lead to 49-35 with 9:50 remaining in the game.

Army added another touchdown late, ending an 11-play 84-yard drive on a 2-yard run by Schurr as Grochowski hit the PAT to cut UH's margin to 49-42 with 2:30 left in the game. Hawaii held on from there.

The Rainbows scored early and often in the first half to build a big advantage.

After forcing a turnover on Army's opening drive, Hawaii scored its first touchdown of the game on an efficient five-play, 54-yard drive that culminated with a 26-yard scoring strike from Schroeder to Harding as Hadden added the PAT to give the Rainbow Warriors an early advantage.

Army was forced to punt on its second series, giving UH the ball on its own 26. From there, the Warriors went 74 yards on seven plays, the last one a 1-yard pass from Schroeder to Langkilde as Hadden added the PAT to extend Hawaii's advantage to 14-0 with 7:45 left in the first.

Hawaii stopped Army deep in its own territory on the Black Knights' next drive. On a fourth-and-1 at the UH 34, Army went for it and came up short. No matter, Schroeder threw an interception in the end zone going for Chris Gant on a third-down play. Hawaii was in field-goal range at the time.

Army marched 80 yards on 13 plays on its ensuing offensive series, the final 6 came on a keeper by Black Knights starting quarterback Angel Santiago. Grochowski added the PAT to cut UH's advantage to 14-7 with 13:37 left in the second.

But back came the Rainbows, going 80 yards on 11 plays to extend the advantage to 14 points on a 10-yard pass from Schroeder to Vasquez Haynes. Hadden hit the PAT to make it 21-7 UH with 9:53 remaining in the second quarter.

The Rainbows weren't done yet. They added another touchdown on a six-play, 42-yard drive that ended on a fourth-down touchdown pass from Iosefa to Harold Moleni from 1 yard out as Hadden added the PAT to extend UH's lead to 28-7 with 6:03 left in the opening half. It was Iosefa's first touchdown pass of his career. It came on a jump pass.

Before the kickoff, there was a moment of silence for Willis Wilson, who apparently drowned in the early-morning hours near Sandy Beach. On the opening play from scrimmage, Harding exited the field to leave Hawaii with 10 in what was called the missing Warrior formation.

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