The Rainbow Warriors sent off the senior class with a 28-26 victory over Louisiana Monroe Saturday night. Interim head coach Chris Naeole was pleased that Hawaii was able to close out the 2015 season with a win. He hopes the positive momentum will carry over for the team in 2016.
“These guys know the direction they’re going with Coach Rolo coming in.” Naeole said. “I wish him nothing but the best, we got a win for these guys going into next year. They don’t have football until Australia next year and it’s a good foot forward finishing on a strong note going into the new season. “
Paul Harris ran 27 times for 166 yards and a touchdown to help Hawaii snap an eight-game losing streak despite being injured in the second half.
“We just kept plugging guys in, Paul (Harris) went down and Ryan (Tuiasoa) came in. We just had to be strong and finish to the end.” Naeole said.
Ikaika Woolsey threw for a touchdown and ran for two more for the Rainbow Warriors (3-10), who led 28-10 early in the third quarter and weathered the Warhawks' rally.
Up 28-20, Hawaii nearly gave the game away with an errant snap in the end zone late in the final quarter. Warhawks defensive lineman Lorenzo Jackson fell on the bad snap giving the Warhawks a touchdown and getting them within reach of tying the game up at 28 a piece. However, the 2-point conversion failed as Earnest Carrington’s pass attempt intended for Harley Scioneaux fell incomplete.
"We finally caught a break with the fumble in the end zone and I thought 'here we go.'” said Mumford. “But it’s just too little too late. You never know when the plays early in the game are going to come up and count in a close game like this.”
The Rainbow Warrior offense converted three first downs to ice the game and run out the clock, securing the team’s 3rd victory after going winless in all of its conference games.
ULM’s interim head coach John Mumford said, “Our offense got us going and that energized the sideline a good bit. Defensively we got a few stops (but) we didn’t get them when we had to have them.”
The Warhawk’s quarterback Carrington finished 27 of 44 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. The Warhawks finish their season next Saturday, hosting New Mexico State.