HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The old rivals put on another show at Aloha Stadium Saturday night, as the 52nd match-up between UH and Fresno St. was decided in the final moments.
Bulldogs kicker Cesar Silva’s 37-yard field goal split the uprights as time expired, lifting Fresno State to a 41-38 win over Hawai’i.
The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the Mountain West with their third loss in the last four games.
Fresno State held on for the win despite a clutch rally by UH in the final 3:37 of the game, as the team erased a 14-point deficit to tie it at 38 -38 with under two minutes to play, behind backup quarterback Chevan Cordeiro.
With the offense struggling to move the ball late in the fourth quarter Hawai’i head coach Nick Rolovich turned to Cordeiro who provided a late spark.
“I thought the ball was coming out of Cole’s hands a little funky," said Rolovich. “I thought Chevan could bring a different element.”
Hawai’i scored a pair of touchdowns in a 65-second span—aided by a recovered onside kick—to tie the game with just 1:08 remaining.
However, the Bulldogs (4-4, 2-2 MW) responded with a 9-play, 55-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal.
Bulldogs quarterback Jorge Reyna rushed 11 times for 96 yards including crucial first downs on the game’s final drive. His deceptive skills as a runner, at times surprised the Warrior defense.
“He ran a lot more then we had seen on film,” said defensive end Kaimana Padello following the game. “We knew he could scramble and he got away from us.”
Bulldogs running back Ronnie Rivers ran for 103 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 19 carries, including a key 13-yard run on the final offensive play of the drive.
UH led 24-14 at halftime, but Fresno State scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to pull away. The Bulldogs scored on four consecutive drives, including a pair of Rivers’ touchdown runs in the third quarter outscoring the 'Bows 17-0 in the third quarter alone.
The victory marked the Bulldogs eighth win over the Warriors in the last nine meetings and their six consecutive win at Aloha Stadium.
UH’s Cole McDonald completed 21 of his 42 passing attempts for 275 yards and one touchdown to go along with one interception.
The Warriors continue their home-stand by hosting San Jose State next Saturday, Nov. 9.
Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. at Aloha Stadium