The turmoil continues in the Hawaii Warriors football camp after a 35 – 21 shock loss against 0-5 cellar dwellers the Nevada Wolfpack in Reno on Saturday night. In a 3 minute period during the second quarter, the Hawaii Warriors imploded via mental errors leading to costly penalties that would deny them momentum, points, field position and playing staff. It was a stunning collapse that Nevada made full use of and after this period the Wolfpack never let up on their firm hold on the game. The 2017 season is spiraling out of control for Hawaii. Not only have the Warriors lost four straight games, but they also lost Offense Line coach Chris Naeole prior to this weeks match-up capping a horror stretch for the Rainbow Warriors.
After a reasonable start, Hawaii looked in good form with Dru Brown and Diocemy Saint Juste combing well. Hawaii was able to post a TD thanks to a 10 yard pass to John Ursula from Dru Brown. Nevada would equal the score minutes later when Wolpack QB Ty Gangi connected with McLane Mannix.
The significant turning point of the game came close to the end of the second quarter. With two minutes plus remaining, Hawaii quarterback Dru Brown handed off the ball to running back Diocemy Saint Juste who tore through the Nevada lines to score a superb 84 yard touchdown. Unfortunately for Saint Juste, a yellow flag was tossed when Hawaii’s left tackle Dejon Allen was called for illegal use of the hands and the play was called dead. Then more salt was rubbed into the wound via unsportsmanlike conduct thanks to right tackle Chris Posa. Warriors head coach Nick Rolovich was absolutely livid with Posa and could be seen screaming “What are you doing?” as Posa with head down, moved toward the benches. Posa had earlier been penalized for a holding call and it was a stunning brain fade from the offensive lineman. Dejon Allen again committed another penalty for holding and the Warriors were imploding big league. Australian punter Stan Gaudion booted the ball deep into Nevada territory only to see the ball moved 15 yards forward after Hawaii’s Pene Pavihi was ejected from the game after he slammed into the Nevada punt returner after the play was dead, committing an inexcusable personal foul. Nevada would cash in on the erroneous ‘ Bows with Ty Gangi slotting a short pass to Wyatt Demps. The Wolfpack would go into the main break with a 21 – 14 lead.
The 3rd quarter saw Hawaii playing with more resolve as they tried to correct the awful mistakes that were carried out in the previous quarter. Diocemy Saint Juste was superb with his running play. Speed, finesse and power saw the nuggety running back evade many a Nevada tackle. He racked up 248 yards for the game, via 25 carries. His longest gain was a 75 yard touchdown run. Saint Juste also became the third highest Hawaii player in all-time rushing yards overtaking Travis Sim’s mark of 2,311 yards. The effort and adjustments the Warriors were making paid off when Saint Juste got his team back in the game. Diocemy broke through the Nevada defensive line and ran for 75 yards scoring a pulsating touchdown. Hawaii were in a one possession game as the final quarter approached.
The final quarter would see Nevada close out the game via some excellent work by the Wolfpack quarterback in Ty Gangi. He had an impressive night with 278 yards from 25 completions, including 4 touchdowns. He kept a clean sheet in the area of sacks. Despite the mistakes Hawaii made throughout the game, full credit must go to the Nevada team who were deserved winners. They worked hard for each other, they completed their assignments and never stopped pressuring the Hawaii offense. For Hawaii, Dru Brown had an average night finishing with 229 yards from 18 completions, 2 TD’s and was sacked 4 times.
On special teams, the two Australians in Stan Gaudion (punter) and Ryan Meskell (placekicker) were solid in their respective roles and they completed their on-field assignments in style. Gaudion had 5 punts for 214 yards, his longest kick was 52 yards. Ryan Meskell had 4 kick-offs for a combined total of 236 yards with an average of 59 yards. Special mention must go to Hawaii wide receiver John Ursula who caught for 126 yards that included 1 touchdown.Sadly for Hawaii, the one stat that wasn’t welcome was the penalties tally. 11 penalties for 114 yards compared to Nevada’s 6 for 39 yards.
Hawaii (2-4) return home for their annual homecoming game when they face off with San Jose State (1-6) The Rainbow Warriors must win this game to have any chance of participating in a bowl game.
Nevada (1-5) head away to play the in form Colorado State Rams (4-2)
Nevada 35 defeated Hawaii 21
Nevada Passing: Ty Gangi 25 completions for 278 yards 4 touchdowns 0 Sacks Longest pass = 37 yards.
Nevada Rushing: Kelton Moore 19 carries for 219 yards. Longest run = 66 yards.
Hawaii Passing: Dru Brown 18 completions for 229 yards 2 touchdowns 4 sacks Longest pass = 42 yards
Hawaii Rushing: Diocemy Saint Juste 25 carries for 248 yards. 1 touchdown Longest run = 75 yards.
The Australians : Stan Gaudion 5 punts = 214 yards Average: 42.8 Longest = 52 yards Inside 20: 3
Ryan Meskell 4 kickoffs = 236 yards Average: 59 yards 1 touch back