By Mike Cherry
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawai'i Warrior football team took out more than two months of frustration in a 48-10 rout of UNLV Saturday night in the Mountain West finale between the teams at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
With the win, the Warriors (2-9, 1-7 MW) snapped an eight-game losing streak – second-longest in school history – and won for the first time since defeating Lamar on September 15. UH also erased a 10-game conference losing streak dating back to last season.
The game was dubbed "Military Night" as the school honored those who serve our country throughout the game, including a patriotic-themed halftime show. For the occasion, the Warriors donned special red, white, and blue uniforms in honor of the Wounded Warrior Project, which were provided by Under Armour.
The Warriors dominated all three phases of the ball – scoring on offense, defense, and special teams. On offense, Sean Schroeder passed for 201 yards on 13-of-24 passing and one touchdown.
On defense, UH picked off two passes, including a 38-yard return for touchdown by safety John Hardy-Tuliau. Cornerback Mike Edwards also recorded his first pick of the season. The Warriors held the Rebels to just one first down in the first half.
On special teams, placekicker Tyler Hadden kicked two field goals; punter Alex Dunnachie averaged 51.8 yards on four punts, including a career-long 73-yarder; and Scott Harding returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown.
For the second straight game, the Warriors scored on their opening possession, going 71 yards on nine plays with Joey Iosefa bullying his way for a 25-yard touchdown run, his first of the season. Iosefa accounted for 47 yards during the drive, including a 12-yard reception on third down.
UH added to its lead after the defense stopped the Rebels on fourth and 1 near midfield. Schroeder directed the Warriors to their second score, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Sterling Jackson, his first of the season.
Hawai'i scored again as Schroeder led the Warriors to another long touchdown drive. The junior completed passes to Harding (27), Billy Ray Stutzmann (19), Chris Gant (12) and a 7-yard dump off to Iosefa for the score.
The Warriors extended their lead to 28-0 after Hardy-Tuliau picked off a Nick Sherry pass and returned it 38 yards to the house. Just before the end of the half, UNLV's Chase Lansford shanked a punt, giving the Warriors the ball at the 8-yard line, just enough time for Hadden to kick a 23-yard field goal for a 31-0 halftime lead.
Harding gave the Warriors a 41-0 lead with his first career punt return touchdown, heading up the middle and weaving his way to the left sideline. After the Rebels scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, Gregory capped the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run and accounted for a team-leading 59 yards.
The Warriors close out the season by hosting South Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 1. Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. at Aloha Stadium.