Matthew Shipley connected on a 51-yard field goal as time expires to lift the Hawaii football team to a 27-24 victory over Colorado State at the Ching Complex.
The Rams had tied it at 24 on wideout Tory Horton’s 70-yard, catch-and-sprint touchdown and ensuing 2-point catch with 54 seconds left.
But the Warriors drove down the field and, without any timeouts remaining, their kicking unit raced onto the field. As the clock ticked down, Shipley was true from 51 yards. A video review confirmed the strut-off kick.
A crowd of 9,255 saw the Rainbow Warriors honor 15 seniors as well as oust the Rams from bowl contention. CSU finished at 5-7, falling short of the six victories needed for postseason consideration.
The Warriors, who ended at 5-8 overall and 3-5 in the Mountain West, were able to contain a team that featured the league’s best receiver (Tory Horton) and tight end (Dallin Holker). UH won three of its final four games.
The Rams closed to 24-16 on Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi’s 17-yard scoring pass to Louis Brown IV with 9:05 to play. But after a timeout, linebacker Noah Kema broke up Fowler-Nicolosi’s attempted 2-point pass to Holker.
>> PHOTOS: Hawaii vs. Colorado State
The Warriors extended their lead to 21-10 with 8:24 left in the third quarter. On a jet sweep to the right, slotback Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala sprinted around the end and found the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown.
With 13:32 to play, Shipley’s 35-yard field goal capped the Warriors’ 17-play, 74-yard drive and increased the margin to 24-10.
The Warriors broke out a play they had been rehearsing all season to take a 14-10 lead with 6:32 left in the second quarter.
On third-and-2 from the CSU 26, quarterback Brayden Schager lateraled to wideout Chuuky Hines on the left side. Hines then threw a scoring pass to tight end Devon Tauaefa in the left corner of the end zone.
The Rams made use of three UH penalties — illegally leaping in a block attempt, a pass interference and an out-of-bounds hit — to set up Jordan Noyes’ 21-yard field goal with 9:27 remaining in the second quarter.
On the game’s opening drive, CSU needs nine plays to go 75 yards for a touchdown, with Justin Marshall going the final 21 yards.
The Warriors tied it at 7 with 8 seconds left in the first quarter. Facing heavy pressure, Schager — with a defender’s hand in his face and throwing off his back foot — lofted a 12-yard pass to Steven McBride on a crossing pattern in the end zone.