University of Hawaii puts down Duquesne, 42-21
  • Friday, February 22, 2019
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University of Hawaii puts down Duquesne, 42-21

  • Jamm Aquino/

    Hawaii wide receiver John Ursua (5) hauls in a pass for a touchdown ahead of Duquesne defensive back Leandro Debrito (7) during the first half of a college football game today at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

It was harder than it was supposed to be, but easy enough in the end as the University of Hawaii football team secured a 42-21 nonconference victory tonight over Duquesne.

A homecoming Aloha Stadium crowd of 23,800 was a little nervous after the Warriors committed a series of mistakes that gave the Dukes a 14-0 lead midway through the opening quarter. But UH reeled off 35 unanswered points to raise its overall record to 4-1 entering next week’s return to Mountain West Conference play. Duquesne fell to 3-2.

Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald threw five touchdown passes to four different receivers to lead the UH attack. He completed 24 of 40 passes for 273 yards. He also threw his first interception of the season against 20 touchdown passes. Running back Dayton Furuta added 114 rushing yards on 12 carries. Cedric Byrd had seven catches for 55 yards and a score to round out UH’s attack.

Up 21-14 after a wild first half filled with big plays, turnovers and enough penalties to match a Kahuku game, the Warriors firmly established themselves in the third quarter. After forcing a three-and-out on Duquesne’s opening drive of the half, Hawaii needed only five plays to up the margin to 28-14.

>> Follow the play-by-play from the game in our Game Day Blog.

The final 2 yards of the 47-yard drive were traversed by Fred Holly as he took it in easily on the third-down call. Ryan Meskell knocked through his fourth PAT to give UH a two-touchdown lead with 10:32 left in the quarter. Those were the only points of a much more tame period.

Hawaii put away the game in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown pass from McDonald to Dakota Torres to culminate an 11-play, 88-yard drive that took the life out of the Dukes. Meskell added the PAT to extend the Warriors’ advantage to 35-14 with 7:48 left.

A 69-yard return by the Dukes on the ensuing kickoff put them deep in UH territory with a chance to score for the first time since midway through the opening quarter. The Dukes faced a first-and-goal from the 9 near the seven-minute mark, in need of a touchdown to make things a little more respectable. And that’s what they got, as Dukes quarterback Daniel Parr fired a 10-yard scoring pass to Kellon Taylor. Mitch Maczura hit the PAT to cut the margin to 35-21 with 6:11 left.

Hawaii scored one more time on an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive. The final snap was a 7-yard touchdown pass from McDonald to John Ursua. Meskell knocked through the extra point to make it 42-21 with 2:13 left in the game.

>> Check out photos from the game in our photo gallery.

Hawaii made a series of mistakes to start the game that led to Duquesne jumping out to a 14-0 lead midway through the opening period. Parr threw a pair of touchdown passes in quick fashion. The first was a 6-yarder to Nehari Crawford and the second was a 20-yard strike to Aidan Cain. Maczura hit both PATs to give the Dukes a 14-point advantage with 7:32 left in the first.

Along the way, McDonald threw his first interception of his career, the Warriors lost a fumble and then misplayed a kickoff that led to the second score. But somehow, UH finally found its footing and struck quickly with a 25-yard touchdown pass from McDonald to Ursua and followed it with a 20-yard scoring toss to JoJo Ward on a fourth-down play. Meskell added both PATs as UH drew even at 14-14 with 11:58 left in the second period.

The Warriors took their first lead of the game on a 2-yard scoring pass from McDonald to Byrd, Meskell knocking through the PAT to make it 21-14 UH with 5:20 until halftime. The 11-play, 96-yard drive was helped along by two Duquesne pass interference calls as the undisciplined Dukes were flagged fives times for 70 yards in the first half alone.

After forcing a three-and-out deep in the Dukes’ end of the field, UH took over at the visitors’ 47 with 3:04 left in the wild first half. That was plenty of time for the Warriors to put some points on the board. And that’s exactly what tried to do, but they failed when a fourth-down pass to a wide-open Ursua was too high as the half ended with UH forgoing the sure field goal to try to extend the advantage to 14.

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