Fans storm Aloha Stadium for season's biggest game - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fans storm Aloha Stadium for season's biggest game

Roger Escutia Roger Escutia
Brian Enomoto Brian Enomoto
Ryan "Gonzo" Gonzales Ryan "Gonzo" Gonzales

By Leland Kim - bio | email

ALOHA STADIUM (KHNL) -  Despite the result of the Hawaii Bowl game,  the Warriors wouldn't have made it this far if it wasn't for the support of their fans.  Diehards have been there through all the ups and downs this season, and they definitely showed up for the biggest game of the season.

There were at least 4,500 fans at Aloha Stadium. Most were UH fans. So obviously this was the tailgate party of the year.

Fans storm Aloha Stadium, for the biggest game of the season.

"Who's going to win today?" asked KHNL.

"Warriors guaranteed but it's going to be a great game," said UH fans Nathan Lum and Leslie Tokunaga.

"We're gonna rain on them. We're gonna rain on them today."

"We're big fans. We're Catholic. My brother went to Notre Dame so we've always rooted for Notre Dame," said Steven and Olivia Valdez, Notre Dame fans who are from Lihue, Maui.  "It's green everywhere but today it's ND.  It's ND today."

It wouldn't be a tailgate party without some ono food and there's plenty of that, everything from traditional stuff like turkey and ham to Korean barbecue and kimchi.

Warrior fans outnumber their Notre Dame counterparts, and the most diehard UH fan could be Malcolm Kia, a season ticket holder from Kona, who never missed a game in four years.

"Every single game including the Sugar Bowl we went to last year so we are diehard fans for the Warriors," he said.

His son Micah, who plays offensive line for the UCLA football team, flew in as well.

"A lot of excitement," said Micah Kia. "I know a bunch of guys on the team, so I'm rooting for them and hopefully it's a good game."

So who is the most diehard Notre Dame fan?  It could be Roger Escutia.

"Notre Dame, baby. Woooooo!" said the Hammond, Indiana, native.

He's rooting for the Irish even though he goes to a different school.

"I go to Purdue University and I love Notre Dame," said Escutia. "I went to a Purdue-Notre Dame game. Notre Dame."

And for season ticket holders like Ryan Gonzales and Brian Enomoto, they're just glad they have one more game to enjoy.

"It's pretty awesome that we actually made it to a bowl game considering everything that went on in the off season," said Gonzales. "We're happy to be here and we're happy to have a quality team in Notre Dame."

"Unbelievable," said Enomoto. "I can't believe Notre Dame actually chose to come down. It's a great experience. Should be unbelievable."

And as far as predictions?

Many think UH is gonna take it.

"By how many touchdowns?" asked KHNL.

"At least three," said Nathan Lum.

"One," said Leslie Tokunaga initially.

"Three!" emphasized Lum.

"Okay, three," agreed Tokunaga, then kissed and laughed with Lum.

"I don't care. I'm in Hawaii. I'm watching the Notre Dame-Hawaii game. It's a once in a lifetime experience," said Escutia. "Why not. It's fun. Win or lose, I'm gonna have a blast. Hawaii people you guys are great. Love you guys. You guys are great, great hosts."

So fans enjoyed great food, and great weather, and took with them memories of an unforgettable game.

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