HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly two months ago, in the immediate aftermath of Hawaii’s regular season loss to Boise State, members of the Rainbow Warrior football team rallied behind a pledge they made to one another.“We’ll be back,” they said.
They presumed, of course, that Boise State would go on to win the Mountain West’s Mountain Division and host the conference championship game.
They turned out to be right — about Boise’s fate as well as their own.
Problem was, the result of the rematch went about as well as the first game did.
On a chilly and sometimes wet afternoon at Albertsons Stadium, the Broncos overcame a slow start to stifle the Rainbow Warriors and win the Mountain West, 31-10.
The contest started promising for the ‘Bows: Hawaii went on an 11-play drive on their first possession, finishing with a 47-yard Ryan Meskell to take a 3-0 lead over the Broncos.
By the time the quarter was over, the game was knotted at 3, with the Hawaii defense having allowed just 63 yards and four first downs.
The ‘Bows started the second quarter as good as their defense played during the first.
Hawaii went on another lengthy drive — 11 plays, 74 yards — and made it all the way down to the Boise State one yard line before facing fourth down.
Junior quarterback Cole McDonald kept the ball on a designed quarterback run, with running back Dayton Furuta, but he was knocked to the ground on about the 6-inch line.
The Warrior defense held tough through the first 28 minutes of the first half, but a pair of touchdowns before halftime eventually prove to big a deficit to overcome.
Facing a fourth down of their own, with less than 90 seconds to play in the half and the game still tied at 3, Boise State quarterback Jaylon Henderson launched a 36-yard touchdown pass to Khalil Shakur that gave the Broncos their first lead of the game.
And after Hawaii went three and out — going right yards in the wrong direction and taking just 23 seconds off the clock — Boise regained possession with 38 ticks before halftime.
The Broncos needed just two plays two score again, when Henderson lobbed a pass to an acrobatic John Hightower, who managed to stay on his feet and walk into the endzone.
Boise State headed into the half up 17-3 and never looked back, scoring two more touchdowns in the third quarter to extend their lead to 31-3 before Hawaii was able to find the endzone again.
When time expired, it was Boise State and head coach Bryan Harsin who lifted the conference championship trophy.
This story will be updated.