HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Rainbow Warriors won their first home game of 2020 on Saturday night, defeating New Mexico, 39-33 to improve to 2-1 on the season.
“Well that was a hectic night, i’m really proud of our guys, great team win.” Head coach Todd Graham told reporters after Saturday’s game. “Obviously, started off with really a lot of chaos on defense, we didn’t play that well on defense early on.”
For the third week in a row, the 'Bows got off to a slow start, allowing the Lobo offense to score on their first four possessions of the game — coming up with two touchdowns and two field goals.
Former Saint Louis Crusader Chevan Cordeiro got the 'Bows on the board in the first half, getting a five-yard QB keeper for a touchdown and his first passing touchdown of the year, a 42-yard pass to wide receiver Nick Mardner — cutting the deficit to 14-20 going into the half.
The third quarter would be a back and forth battle between both offenses, including a pair of Cordeiro to Zion Bowens touchdowns, going for 42 and 40 yards respectively.
Going into the fourth quarter, UH led by a slim one point difference and would lose the lead after a 24-yard field goal by New Mexico.
The 'Bows would secure the lead after a 64-yard touchdown pass from Cordeiro to Calvin Turner and an amazing catch by Jared Smart on the two-point conversion would put UH up 36-30 with a little over 12 minutes left in the game.
The UH defense would force a three-and-out, which would turn into a 41-yard Matthew Shipley field goal to stretch their lead 39-30.
New Mexico would try to mount a comeback after a 42-yard field goal, but it was too little, too late for the Lobos who would fail to recover their onside kick attempt.
“Just incredible effort, a lot of ugly football at times," Coach Graham said. "But I’m really proud of our guys and proud to be 2-1 and were moving on to the next one.”
Chevan Cordeiro would finish the night completing 33 of his 43 passes, throwing for 410 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions — the former Crusader entered Saturday’s game without a passing touchdown.
“I couldn’t have done it with just myself, I got help from the o-line, they protected me good and just my receivers making plays.” Quarterback Chevan Cordeiro told reporters after Saturday’s game. “Just me throwing to them and them making the play, I just wanted to give them a chance because I believed in them and they got up and grabbed it.”
On the other side of the ball, former Mililani Trojan Darius Muasau, continues to be a force to be reckoned with, racking up a team high 10 tackles against the Lobos and Safety Quentin Frazier would come up with 9 tackles and a pivotal interception with a little over four minutes left in the game.
Hawaii heads back to the West Coast next week to take on San Diego State, set to kick off at 11 a.m. Hawaii time on November 14th.