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Hawaii outscores San Jose State for sixth win

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro throws the football against the San Jose State Spartans during the first half.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro throws the football against the San Jose State Spartans during the first half.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Hawaii running back Miles Reed (26) is lifted by offensive lineman Gene Pryor (74) after his touchdown against the San Jose State Spartans during the first half.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii running back Miles Reed (26) is lifted by offensive lineman Gene Pryor (74) after his touchdown against the San Jose State Spartans during the first half.

If the University of Hawaii football team entertained any real shot at postseason play, the Rainbow Warriors needed a win over visiting San Jose State — preferably with little fanfare.

Check on that first goal. Not so much on the second.

Before a small but boisterous Aloha Stadium crowd of 16,367, Hawaii held off the spunky Spartans 42-40 to get within one win of being bowl eligible with three to play. Hawaii is now 6-4 this season and 3-3 in Mountain West Conference action. San Jose State dropped to 1-5 in the league and 4-6 overall.

Hawaii travels to the mainland to play Nevada-Las Vegas next Saturday. Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich can only hope his quarterback Chevan Cordeiro is as sharp as he was tonight, when he completed 23 of 31 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores. He replaced a struggling Cole McDonald and acquitted himself nicely.

Up by two to begin the fourth quarter, Hawaii managed to get into scoring position late in the third on a nice blend of run and pass to pick up a first down at the San Jose State 16. It took a few snaps, but UH finally got in the end zone on a 5-yard scoring pass from Cordeiro to Jared Smart. Ryan Meskell hit the PAT to extend UH’s lead to 35-26 with 12:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.

But the Spartans cut the margin to two on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Josh Love to Bailey Gaither. Matt Mercurio hit the PAT to make it 35-33 with 9:53 remaining. Love had quite a night himself, completing 30 of 45 passes for 375 yards and two touchdowns. But on this night, UH would not be denied, as Cordeiro threw it well and Miles Reed had the night of his career. Reed rushed for 124 yards and one score. It was the first time he gained more than 100 yards in a game in his career.

Cordeiro scored from 2 yards out to put Hawaii up 42-33 with 4:23 left, but another Love touchdown pass, this time for 19 yards to Isaia Hamilton, cut the margin back to three. Mercurio hit the PAT to make it 42-40 with 1:51 remaining. San Jose State attempted an onside kick, but Smart recovered it at the UH 42 and the Warriors converted a third down that allowed them to run out the clock to secure the win.

Hawaii began the third quarter trailing by 2 but quickly scored on a 3-yard run by Cordeiro to make it 28-23 with 9:30 remaining. San Jose wasn’t too concerned. Since UH couldn’t stop the Spartans in the opening two quarters, it seemed unlikely the third would be any different. And that was exactly the case as the Spartans marched steadily down the UH defense’s throat completing passes and running free through the secondary. But somehow, UH forced a 25-yard field goal by Mercurio on the 16-play drive, his fourth of the game to make it 28-26 with 1:21 remaining in the period.

San Jose State won the toss and quickly went down the field before settling for a 28-yard field goal by Mercurio with 9:06 remaining in the opening quarter. With Cordeiro directing traffic, Hawaii’s opening drive was even more effective as the Saint Louis product led the Warriors to a touchdown thanks in part to a pass interference penalty that gave the Warriors the ball at the Spartans 25 late in the opening quarter.

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