HALAWA – Tempers flared all night, but it was never so evident until a post-game brawl ensued after the final play of the game. As Shawn Withy-Allen took a knee from under center, a Cincinnati linebacker attempted to break through the Hawaii offensive line and hit the backup quarterback. It would be just the beginning of a no-holds barred rumble.
"I don't really know, it's unfortunate that it happened, but we scored one more point than they did so that's all I care about, said Warrior Head Coach June Jones.
Behind the brawl, Hawaii quietly defeated the visiting Bearcats Saturday night at Aloha Stadium, 20-19. "We knew it was gonna be (intense), that's the best team that we have played," said Jones.
Tim Chang completed 23 of his 42 pass attempts for 219 yards with no interceptions. His counterpart, Gino Guidugli, went 19 of 41 for 231 yards, also with a pick.
DeMarco McClesky led all rushers with 132 yards on 31 carries. Thero Mitchell gained 52 yards on just nine carries, but ran in two touchdowns.
Jeremiah Cockheran led Warrior receivers with seven receptiosn for 82 yards, while Britton Komine added 65 yards on seven catches. Cincinnati's Jon Olinger caught seven balls for 102 yards.
Pisa Tinoisamoa again led Hawaii with nine tackles.
After already having suffered a sprained left knee, Chang returned. Not only did he come back into the game, but he led the Warriors on the game-winning drive. With just 5:10 left in the contest, Chang found Cockheran for a 33-yard touchdown pitch and catch. In the pass-happy Hawaii offense, it would be the Warriors only touchdown through the air on the night.
However, Chang would get knocked out of the game again, this time due to a low hit by a Bearcats defender. Said Thero Mitchell, "If you play the shot where Timmy got hit, the guy blatantly went for his knee." Chang would not return and made an early exit to the locker room in a wheelchair. "I didn't see the play. I don't know if he (the defender) was blocked into him (Chang)," said Jones. "I hope that's he was and that it wasn't intentional."
The opening quarter was a quiet one, as Hawaii was held to 97 yards of total offense with no scores. Cincinnati managed 86 yards of offense but found pay dirt with 5:52 left in the quarter. Quarterback Gino Guidugli found his fullback Booker Vann off a play-action pass for a five yard score. Guidugli hit Tye Keith for a 34-yard gain just two plays earlier to set up Vann's touchdown reception.
Shayne Kajioka suffered a sprained right knee but did return. However, he later was sidelined again and did not return. Derek Faavi became the center and Chad Kahale moved in at right guard.
Hawaii was stopped on four consecutive plays from inside the Cincinnati five-yard line. Mitchell carried on first and goal from the three-yard line down to the one. He got stuffed on second and goal before Chang's third down attempt fell incomplete, intended for Komine. On fourth and goal, Chang tried his right guard on a quarterback sneak, but the Bearcats defense wouldn't budge, giving the ball back to their offense.
Guidugli and the Cincinnati offense couldn't produce much with first and ten from their own one-yard line and eventually punted away to the Warriors.
After a 21-yard return by Chad Owens, Chang found Ilaoa for an eight-yard gain. Two plays later, the two hooked up again for 17 yards and a first down. Ilaoa's reception put Hawaii on the Cincinnati one-yard line again. After two incomplete attempts for Chang, Mitchell got the call. The senior running back carried for one yard into the end zone. Justin Ayat converted on the kick and knotted the score at seven apiece with 12:17 left in the half.
Hawaii would strike again with 8:35 left in the half when Mitchell ran in another one-yard score. Mitchell set himself up two plays earlier for the touchdown scamper with a 30-yard gain on a draw play. Two penalties against the Bearcats defense moved the Warrior offense to the Cincinnati one-yard line.
After a Cincinnati punt, a 51-yard field goal attempt by Ayat was no good, giving the Bearcats possession. They would make the most of the opportunity as with 1:54 left in the half, Jonathan Ruffin booted a 47-yard field goal to cut the Warrior lead to just four points.
Cincinnati got right back to business to start the second half. Their workhorse, McCleskey carried the Bearcats down the field as they marched 62 yards to the Hawaii 18-yard line. Ruffin's 35-yard attempt from there split the uprights, closing the gap to 14-13.
With Chang out due to a sprained left knee, backup Shawn Withy-Allen replaced the sophomore signal-caller. However, Withy-Allen would fumble, giving it back to Cincinnati on the Warrior 37-yard line. Ruffing and the Bearcats would make good again with a 25-yard field goal with 7:48 left in the third quarter, giving Cincinnati the lead at 16-14.
Withy-Allen was picked off by Blue Adams , however, the Bearcats would punt back to the Warriors who returned the favor.
Chang, whose return was originally not probable, replaced Withy-Allen in the fourth quarter.
Cincinnati would add another field goal by Ruffin, another 25-yard kick with 10:53 left in the contest.
Hawaii would be forced to punt away after three consecutive incompletions by Chang. The Warrior defense would come up big with an interception by Chris Brown, who returned it 26 yards down to the Cincinnati 12-yard line. Unfortunately for Hawaii, Chang's lone pick came on the ensuing play as Ivan Fields caught the deflected ball at the one-yard line and returned it to the 11.
Chang would recovery and lead the Warriors to victory. On first and ten, he connected with Cockheran for a gain of nine yards. That was followed by an incompletion, intended for Colbert. Then, after another nine yard completion, this time to Komine, Chang again connected with Cockheran for the winning touchdown.
Cincinnati Bearcats at Hawaii Warriors
11/23/2002 @ Aloha Stadium
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Cincinnati Bearcats (5-5, 4-2) 07 03 06 03 19
Hawaii Warriors (8-2, 7-1) 00 14 00 06 20
Cin-5:52/1st Booker Vann 5 pass from Gino Guidugli (Jonathan Ruffin kick)
Haw-12:17/2nd Thero Mitchell 1 run (Justin Ayat kick)
Haw-8:35/2nd Mitchell 1 run (Ayat kick)
Cin-1:54/2nd Ruffin 47 field goal
Cin-10:09/3rd Ruffin 35 field goal
Cin-7:48/3rd Ruffin 25 field goal
Cin-10:53/4th Ruffin 25 field goal
Haw-5:10/4th Jeremiah Cockheran 33 pass from Tim Chang (pass fail)
FIRST DOWNS................... 17 21
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 38-136 22-56
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 231 275
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 41-19-1 52-28-2
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 79-367 74-331
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 1-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............ 4-46 6-81
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 1-16 5-118
Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-22 1-26
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 8-42.2 6-50.2
Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards............... 14-117 2-15
Possession Time............... 31:49 28:11
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-16 0-0
RUSHING: Cincinnati-McCLESKEY, Dema 31-121; HARWELL, Tedric 3-8; GUIDUGLI, Gino 3-4; HALL,
Richard 1-3. Hawai`i-Mitchell, Thero 9-52; LaBoy, Travis 2-4; Chang, Timmy 3-4; Withy-Allen, S. 5-1;
West, John 1-0; Team 2-minus 5.
PASSING: Cincinnati-GUIDUGLI, Gino 19-41-1-231. Hawai`i-Chang, Timmy 23-42-1-219;
Withy-Allen, S. 5-10-1-56.
RECEIVING: Cincinnati-OLINGER, Jon 7-102; KEITH, Tye 3-56; McCLESKEY, Dema 3-25; MURRAY,
George 3-24; HALL, Richard 1-12; VANN, LaDaris 1-7; VANN, Booker 1-5. Hawai`i-Cockheran, J. 7-82;
Komine, Britton 7-65; Ilaoa, Nate 5-43; Colbert, Justin 4-44; Herbert, C. 2-4; Owens, Chad 1-23;
Mitchell, Thero 1-12; LaBoy, Travis 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS: Cincinnati-FIELDS, Ivan 1-10; ADAMS, Blue 1-12. Hawai`i-Brown, Chris 1-26.
FUMBLES: Cincinnati-GUIDUGLI, Gino 1-0; OLINGER, Jon 1-0. Hawai`i-Withy-Allen, S. 1-1; Owens,