Yesterday’s Hawaii football sequel drew as many raves as the original.
In the second part of the Scout Bowl — an offense-vs.-defense scrimmage involving the redshirts and scout-team players — the offense prevailed. And, like Tuesday’s scrimmage at the Ching Athletic Complex, the outcome was decided on the final play.
With a scoring system known only to UH head coach Greg McMackin, the players were told the scrimmage would come down to a fourth-and-15 play from the defense’s 18.
David Graves threw a pass that safety Kamalani Alo tipped at the doorstep of the end zone. Wideout Terence Bell grabbed the deflected pass for the winning touchdown.
It was a double-post play in which Bell, who was aligned on the right, would criss-cross with slotback Donnie King.
"When the play first started," Bell recalled, "I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know. The window looks tight.’ Donnie was on the left side. He did a good job of pulling the safety away. The safety barely got a hand on the pass. I was like, ‘Thanks.’ (Alo) made it a lot easier. The ball was coming hard. He tipped it up, and it was an easy catch."
During the 43-play scrimmage, Bell, who will be a senior in 2011, made difficult plays appear to be easy.
He parlayed a 5-yard out into a 68-yard touchdown, during which he hurdled three fallen defenders en route to the end zone.
"I happened to stay in bounds," he said of the catch. "I knew they had to tackle me low. Once I got close (to the end zone), I kept jumping. I kept jumping until I made it in there."
Bell also made a leaping one-handed grab, a play cheered by slotback Greg Salas, who has perfected that technique.
"Greg definitely taught me a couple of things on the one-handed catches," Bell said. "Always watching him, you can learn a couple of things."
During this bye week, Salas said, the receivers "have been practicing one-handed catches. I’ve been playing quarterback, and they’re making nice one-handed catches. But I don’t think on that catch (Bell) was imitating me. He was making a play. The future looks bright for Terence Bell."
Offensive tackles Sean Shigematsu and Jordan Loeffler also showed promise. Shigematsu floored defensive end Desmond Dean with an open-field block.
"Brotherly love right there," Shigematsu said. "It was nothing big."
The most innovative play came when Graves threw to slotback Justin Clapp, who then lateraled to Graves.
"That wasn’t a play," said quarterback Bryant Moniz, who served as offensive coordinator. "They did it on their own."
Graves said: "That was just an improv. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. We needed a first down, and we got it."
To be sure, the defense had its moments, forcing two fumbles and intercepting a pass. On the first turnover, running back Sterling Jackson suffered a thumb injury when he fumbled. Adding insult to injury, on the fumble return, linebacker Aulola Tonga was inadvertently tackled by defensive lineman Siasau Matagiese.
"I was trying to make the block," Matagiese said of the friendly fire.
Matagiese, who made a sack, played well in both scrimmages. He hopes to break into the rotation next year. Matagiese, who is redshirting after transferring from Portland State, has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Linebacker Joseph Malabuyoc, who made his second interception in as many days, is listed as a senior but might have another season of eligibility left. It would not be a surprise if he returns. After all, he was cut in the spring of 2009, but then was invited to training camp three months later.
"I just don’t take no for an answer," said Malabuyoc, who was raised in Vancouver.
He also refuses to be cut. Malabuyoc has not cut his hair since August 2006.
"I figure if I’m here, I might as well let it grow out," he said.