Hawaii Bowl: Warriors lead Tulane 14-6 at half

LIVE FROM ALOHA: Tulane found Hawaii's defense stout, managing just two field goals to fall behind, 14-6 in the inaugural ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl Saturday afternoon.

 Hawaii 14, Tulane 6
Warrior defense dominates early,
but Green Wave chip away

By Paul Honda
Senior Writer
Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2002, 5:30 p.m.

HALAWA—For old-school defensive fans, it was a work of art.

Tulane's explosive offense managed two field goals as
Hawaii took a 14-6 lead at halftime in the inaugural ConAgra Foods Hawaii Bowl Saturday afternoon.

A festive crowd at Aloha Stadium saw
Hawaii strike early offensively while UH's defense, a stalwart unit all season, ravaged Tulane quarterback J.P. Losman. Led by defensive end Travis LaBoy, tackle Isaac Sopoaga and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, the Warriors shut down the Green Wave on its first four possessions, including a missed53-yard  field-goal attempt by former Lou Groza Award winner Seth Marler.

The first half was marked by spurts of offensive precision and several halts due to penalties. Still,
Hawaii's offense, the nation's top-ranked passing attack, dictated the tempo.

Without left tackle Wayne Hunter (back spasms), quarterback Tim Chang absorbed a sack on
Hawaii's third play from scrimmage. Still, he connected with Justin Colbert on a 39-yard screen play, followed by a 14-yard connection to running back John West to the Hawaii 1-yard line. Thero Mitchell burst into the end zone on the ensuing play for a 1-yard score. Justin Ayat's PAT kick gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 10:34 to play in the opening quarter.

Tulane mixed formations, using a shotgun, four-receiver set with a single-back, slot formation. The Wave's next possession, though, ended when wide reveiver Tristan Smith fumbled at mid-field on a third-and-7 play. LaBoy recovered for the Warriors at the
Hawaii 43-yard line.

Both offenses sputtered until midway through the second quarter. Chang guided the Warriors on an eight-play, 65-yard drive. Britton Komine came up with a diving, comeback catch for 25 yards to keep the drive alive. A pass interference call in the end zone -- cornerback Lynaris Elpheage was whistled for grabbing Jeremiah Cockheran -- set
Hawaii up at the 2-yard line. On the next play, backup quarterback Shawn Withy-Allen tossed to Josh Galeai on the option, and he scored easily for a 2-yard scoring run.

Ayat's kick gave
Hawaii a 14-0 lead with 8:35 remaining in the second quarter.

Tulane finally broke its scoring drought with an 11-play, 74-yard drive. The Green Wave took advantage of an injury to Sopoaga early in the series and drove 74 yards in 11 plays. Sopoaga returned, however, after Tulane had first down-and-goal at the
Hawaii 4. The junior stuffed running back Mewelde Moore up the middle, and Losman heaved consecutive incomplete passes. Marler nailed a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 with 5:01 remaining in the half.

Chang remained out for the rest of the half, and the UH offense stalled. Punter Mat McBriar delivered a 73-yard punt -- the last 25 on a pro-Hawaii bounce of the ball – to bail
Hawaii out of a precarious situation inside its own 5. However, Tulane marched 57 yards in nine plays, setting up Marler's 37-yard field goal to cut the margin to 14-6 with 2:28 left in the half.

Withy-Allen was sharp, but a Tulane pass rusher hit his arm and altered a pass that was intercepted by Sean Lucas. The backup cornerback returned the ball 66 yards to the end zone, but the return was called back because of a holding call after the pick. That play and penalty was crucial; the Green Wave stalled and punted back to

The Warriors drove to the Tulane 26 and set up for a 43-yard field-goal attempt with 10 seconds remaining. The snap, though, was high, and holder Withy-Allen ad-libbed with a short pass to Kevin Jackson. The 6-4 defensive end gained four yards on the play as time expired. Had Withy-Allen thrown the ball away, it would've been second down with enough time for another attempt.

Chang completed 14 of 21 attempts for 124 yards with no interceptions before leaving. Withy-Allen was 6 of 9 for 61 yards with one pick. The Warriors amassed 222 total yards by intermission.

Losman was 13 of 25 for 146 yards with no interceptions. The Green Wave tallied 172 total yards.

McBriar averaged 58.7 yards per punt, while his counterpart, Marler, averaged 51.7 per attempt.

Hawaii picked up 61 penalty yards on eight yellow flags. Tulane had 64 penalty yards on six whistles.

@ Aloha Stadium


















Scoring Summary

First Quarter

HAWAII – Thero Mitchell 1 run (Justin Ayat kick), UH 7-0, 10:34.  

Second Quarter

HAWAII – Josh Galeai 2 run (Ayat kick), UH 14-0, 8:35.

TULANE – Seth Marler FG 23, UH 14-3, 5:01.

TULANE – Marler FG 37, UH 14-6, 2:28.

Third Quarter



Fourth Quarter


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