GAME DAY BLOG: University of Hawaii vs. Rice
  • Thursday, January 17, 2019
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GAME DAY BLOG: University of Hawaii vs. Rice

  • Hawaii sophomore quarterback Cole McDonald threw four touchdown passes to three different receivers as the Warriors held on for a 43-29 win over Rice at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii improved to 3-0 on the season.
    (Video by Stanley Lee /

    Hawaii wide receiver John Ursua (5) hauls in a pass for a touchdown ahead of Rice safety Houston Robert (29) at Aloha Stadium. The Warriors improved to 3-0, matching their best start since 2007.


Editor’s note: The game story is now available online.

UPDATE 9:16 p.m.

Cole McDonald threw four touchdown passes to boost the Warriors to a 43-29 victory over Rice tonight at Aloha Stadium.

The Warriors improved to 3-0, matching their best start since 2007.

9:13 p.m.

Instead of running out the clock, UH’s Fred Holly ran away, going 46 yards on a dive up the middle to extend the Warriors’ lead to 43-29 with 1:35 to play.

The Warriors opened the drive when Dakota Torres secured Rice’s onside kick.

9:10 p.m.

Aaron Cephus’ 19-yard scoring catch closes Rice to 36-29 with 1:48 to play.

9:04 p.m.

Cole McDonald and Cedric Byrd collaborate on a 26-yard scoring pass to extend the Warriors’ lead to 34-22 with 3:01 left. McDonald then coasted on a two-point keeper it make it 36-22.

The drive was set up when JoJo Ward caught a short pass on third-and-4, eluded a defender and raced down the sideline for a 63-yard gain.

>> Editor’s note: Pick up a copy of Sunday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser or visit for full coverage of tonight’s game.

8:42 p.m.

The Owls close to 28-22 with 11:49 to play thanks to Austin Walter’s 46-yard kickoff return (following a safety) and Austin Trammell’s 31-yard, catch-dodge-and-sprint play on fourth-and-6.

8:34 p.m.

After a goal-line stand, UH is stopped for a loss — and a safety. Rice closes to 28-15 with 14:43 to play.

8:32 p.m.

Hawaii stops Rice on fourth-and-goal from the 1, preserving a 28-13 lead. Credit Jahlani Tavai and Penei Pavihi with the tandem tackle of Emmanuel Esukpa.

8:30 p.m.

On third-and-goal from the 5, Rice QB Shawn Stankavage, with no open receivers, scrambles to the 1. And then … well, that’s the end of the third quarter. You’ll just have to wait a couple of minutes to see how this drive turns out. UH leads 28-13.

8:18 p.m.

In a 1-2 momentum changer, the Warriors forced a Rice fumble, then went 27 yards in four plays for a 28-13 lead with 4:37 left in the third quarter. Running back Fred Holly III went the final 5 yards on a stretch run around left end.

8:05 p.m.

Haden Tobola, Rice’s second kicker, converted a 31-yarder with 9:45 left in the third quarter to close Rice to 21-13.

>> Editor’s note: Photos from the first half of the game are ready to view in our photo gallery.

7:33 p.m.

Jack Fox kicks a 34-yard field goal to close Rice to 21-10 with 19 seconds left in the first half.

On the ensuing possession, the Warriors took a knee to bleed out the clock leading to the intermission.

Quick stats:

Total offense: Hawaii 269, Rice 211

Cole McDonald 14-of-20 for 183 yards and 3 TDs.

John Ursua six catches for 105 yards and a TD.

7:05 p.m.

Suddenly, the Warriors have four receiving threats.

Marcus Armstrong-Brown scores on 14-yard pass from Cole McDonald to extend UH’s lead to 21-7 with 8:05 to play in first half. It was McDonald’s third scoring pass of the game.

Armstrong-Brown secured the catch at the 10, then made a spinning move en route to the end zone.

6:45 p.m.

After one quarter, UH leads, 14-7.

Quick stats: Cole McDonald 9-of-12 for 142 yards and two TDs.

>> Editor’s note: Pick up a copy of Sunday’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser or visit for full coverage of tonight’s game.

6:37 p.m.

With 3:03 left in first quarter, Emmanuel Esukpa takes a handoff on a dive and goes 51 yards for a touchdown to close Rice to 14-7.

6:33 p.m.

With 3:39 left in the first quarter, the Warriors extend their lead to 14-0 on Cole McDonald’s second TD pass of the game. This time, it’s a 10-yard toss to Cedric Byrd on a flag route to the left corner of the end zone. McDonald was 4-of-4 for 54 yards on that drive, the Warriors’ second possession of the game.

6:25 p.m.

Rice’s first two drives have netted 17 yards.

Warriors start their second drive at their 25 with 7:15 left in the first quarter. UH up, 7-0.

6:18 p.m.

For the third week in a row, the Warriors score on their opening drive. This time, it’s a 6-yard pass from Cole McDonald to slotback John Ursua for a TD with 9:14 left in the first quarter. Ursua ran the same slant route three times in a row.

6:10 p.m.

Rice running back Emmanuel Esukpa averages 6.45 yards per first-down carry. He gained 4 yards on his first carry today.

6:05 p.m.

Gerald Oda, head coach of Honolulu’s champion Little League World Series team, is serving as UH’s honorary coach today. His players will be featured in a special halftime presentation.

Previous coverage

Former Western Athletic Conference members — Rice and Hawaii — meet for the eighth time today at Aloha Stadium.

The Owls won the last two meetings, including a hastily scheduled game in Houston in 2014. The payback for that game is tonight’s game.

Continue to check back to this blog throughout the evening for the latest on the Hawaii vs. Rice game.

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