Football: Twist in special teams sparks UH

Kapanui, Alapa give Hawaii's special teams a special "twist," and San Diego State was left bummed out.

Keani Alapa blocks a punt in Hawaii's 41-40 win over
San Diego State Saturday night. (Irwin Sewake photo)

Twist in Special Teams
sparks Warrior victory

By Kalani Takase
RSN Writer
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2002

HALAWA -- The University of Hawaii Warrior football team has their special teams to thank for a large part of their 41-40 win over San Diego State Saturday night.

It wasn't Chad Owens or his excellent vision and cutbacks that made the highlights.  But rather, it was two blocked punts by the Warrior punt return team that led to two touchdowns for the offense. 

4:26 left in the first quarter, Aztecs' punter Brian Simnjanovski set up for his first punt on the night.  However, his plans went awry when Chad Kapanui found his way upfield and blocked the punt.

"We knew they were running a man scheme so we actually just did a twist in the middle and we got a block," said Kapanui.

The punt was credited to SDSU as a team punt and traveled just 11 yards.  "We knew it was gonna work because it was a man scheme and the center is supposed to get me, but since I twisted around I was free."

Kapanui "twisted" around Josh Galeai, leaving him open for the block.  The Warrior offense would score five plays later as Shawn Withy-Allen came in for Timmy Chang and ran an option left with John West.  Withy-Allen, a senior, kept on the option and found pay dirt.

The Aztecs next possession ended the same way with another blocked punt.  However, this time it was Keani Alapa who got through.

"They switched the personal protector and then we ran it on the opposite side and that's how we got the block," said Kapanui.  "We practiced it the whole week and we knew we were gonna block it.  We only ran it twice tonight and we got two blocks."

Hawaii took over on downs and scored on the very next play when Chang found Jeremiah Cockheran wide open for a 48-yard touchdown pass.

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