The dreams of playing in a bowl game this postseason is now over for the Rainbow Warrior football team.
After jumping out to an early 7-0 lead, the Warriors (3-7, 1-6 MWC) fell behind after the 45 minute weather delay as Fresno State scored 31 unanswered points, eventually winning 31-21 at Aloha Stadium.
The Bulldogs (7-3, 4-1 MWC) were held scoreless in the first quarter, but quickly got their offense in gear after a weather delay due to lightning near the stadium.
Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion had his way with the Warriors defense at times Saturday night as he started tearing apart Hawaii’s defense with a four-yard pass to KeeSean Johnson to bring the game to level terms in the second quarter.
A minute later, McMaryion found David Tangipa on a three-yard pass after a Hawaii turnover to go ahead 21-7 before halftime.
With 5:02 remaining in the third quarter, Bulldogs kicker Jimmy Camacho converted a 27-yard field goal to go ahead 24-7, just four minutes before McMaryion scored his fourth score of the game with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.
In the fourth, when all hope seemed lost, Warriors quarterback Dru Brown gave Hawaii life with a 15-yard pass to wideout Dylan Collie. Brown found Collie again on a two-point conversion to bring the game within 16 points.
The Warriors defense, despite surrendering 31 points, did not surrender at any point in the ballgame.
On Fresno State’s next possession, Solomon Matautia intercepted McMaryion after Warrior defensive lineman David Manoa tipped the ball up in the air and into Matautia’s arms.
Matautia knew what do with the ball in his hands and plunged to wards the end zone to reduce the deficit to 10.
The Bulldogs tried to run down the clock for the rest of the quarter, but were forced into a passing situation, where the Warriors intercepted McMaryion again thanks to safety Daniel Lewis.
But the Warriors comeback would end there with 2:14 left on the clock as Brown was intercepted in the end zone. With no timeouts remaining, Fresno State ran the clock out to kill off Hawaii’s dreams of a bowl game with two games remaining in the season.
McMaryion starred for the Bulldogs, racking up 226 passing yards on 19-of-36 passing and four scores, despite throwing two interceptions. For Hawaii, Brown had his moments but struggled most of the night, throwing for 154 yards on 18-of-31 passing, two touchdowns and an interception.
Running back Diocemy Saint Juste ran for 104 yards on 22 carries, breaking the Warriors record for most carries in a season.
Despite the loss, there are still games to be played. The Warriors will play for pride next Saturday when they travel to face-off against Utah State. Kickoff is set for 10 a.m. HT.
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