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There may not be a pot of gold at the end of the Rainbow Warrior football team's season, but there is a bronze prize up for grabs this weekend when Hawaii visits Wyoming.
The Paniolo Trophy, which features Hawaiian rodeo star Ikua Purdy, atop it, was reproduced after both schools admittedly lost track of the old one.
"It's kind of fun," said Rainbow Warriors head coach Norm Chow. "I don't think it's been around for a while though. I don't know the real history, if there is a history to it. But it's fun to see because I know there's a group of Hawaiian cowboys that are proud of what they do and obviously, they're the Cowboys as well."
In the last month, Wyoming's defense has surrendered an average of 49 points and 231 yards on the ground per game. It's a weakness the Bows hope to exploit with a rejuvenated rushing attack behind Joey Iosefa, whose run for 341 yards since returning two games ago.
"I'm going to try and wear them down early so our other backs can come in and change it up a little bit," Iosefa said.
The Cowboys' passing attack will be triggered by Brett Smith, a four-year starter and a duel-threat at quarterback.
"Looking at film, he likes to spread out the ball a little bit," said Rainbow Warriors safety John Hardy-Tuliau. "Giving the quarterback some freedom to run it. Some quick game, some bubbles. So we just gotta...defend all those screens and the read option. We gotta stop that."
An added hurdle is the fact War Memorial Stadium sits 7,000 feet above sea level.
Thin air Means heavy breathing, but if the Bows walk away with win number one, it'll be the sweetest breath of the season.
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