Spartans Lose Heartbreaker To Hawaii In OT

The San Jose State Spartans, playing with much emotion, suffered a heartbreaking 17-10 defeat in overtime to the University of Hawaii. The game marked the second time in a row that Hawaii has come to San Jose and won in overtime, having won 42-35 in 2007.

Behind the arm of third string quarterback Shane Austin, the University of Hawaii Warriors defeated the San Jose State Spartans in overtime by a score of 17-10 in front of 18,327 fans, despite the overall best defensive effort by the Spartans this season. Austin, who played in place of the injured Bryant Moniz, who in turn had replaced injured Greg Alexander as the starter several weeks ago, competed 28 of 46 passes for 299 yards. He failed to throw a touchdown pass, but more importantly did not throw an interception. By comparison, the San Jose State quarterbacks, Jordan La Secla and Kyle Reed combined for three interceptions, all in the first half. The victory improved Hawaii's record to 5-6 / 3-5 WAC, and keeps their slime hopes for the Hawaii Bowl alive for another week. The Spartans dropped to 1-9 / 0-6 WAC, and extended their current losing streak to six straight games, and twelve straight losses to teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) .

The Hawaii Warriors learned early how to move the ball against San Jose State, run the ball. However, the Warriors did not stick to that mode of attack for much of the game, choosing instead to do what they do best, pass, pass, pass. By doing so, Hawaii found themselves in a dogfight with the Spartans, who played with the added emotion of Head Coach Dick Tomey's announcement earlier in the week that this season would be his last. For Tomey, the game carried added meaning as he was facing the school that he was the head coach of for 10 seasons, from 1977 until 1986.

In the games first possession, Hawaii quarterback Shane Austin was sacked by the Spartans Justin Cole, who also forced a fumble that was recovered the freshman Travis Johnson at the Hawaii 32 yard line. The Spartans squandered the opportunity three plays later when quarterback Jordan La Secla's pass intended for Jalal Beauchman was intercepted by Hawaii defensive back Lametrius Davis at the 16 yard line.

Hawaii, which began their next drive at their own 16 yard line, then chose to hand the ball off to their two backs, Alex Green and Leon Wright-Jackson. After reaching the San Jose State 18 yard line, Hawaii chose to go for it on a fourth and five, but Austin's pass in the endzone was broken up by Spartans' cornerback Peyton Thompson.

After gaining a quick first down on a fourteen yard pass play from La Secla to wide receiver Kevin Jurovich, La Secla was again intercepted by Lametrius Davis and he returned the ball to the Spartans' 46 yard line. La Secla's night was done, having completed one of three passes for 14 yards, and the other two attempts being interceptions. Both interceptions appeared to be caused due to miscommunication between La Secla and his receivers.

Following the second interception, the Warriors quickly drove the 46 yards on seven plays, with six plays being runs. Austin capped the drive with a three yard touchdown run for the games first score and a 7-0 Hawaii lead.

Kyle Reed replaced La Secla on the Spartans' next possession, but initially failed to provide much spark. Reed went on to complete 14 of 22 passes for 131 yards, and one interception.

After a quick three and out by the Spartans, Hawaii again drove the deep into Spartan territory, this time successfully mixing the run and pass. A fumble by Alex Green appeared to be recovered by Duke Ihenacho at the San Jose State 16. However, the call on the field, was overturned on reply review, giving the ball back to Hawaii. After an incompletion on third and 16 from the San Jose State 27 yard line, Hawaii once again went for it on fourth down, but pressure by Travis Johnson forced a hurried throw by Austin, which fell incomplete.

The Spartans offense finally came alive at the end of the first half, when they drove 80 yards in eight plays, with all but 14 yards coming on the ground. The drive featured off-tackle runs by Lamon Muldrow and Patrick Perry, as well as three carries by Reed that totaled 27 yards. A two yard keeper by Reed tied the score at 7-7 at the half.

In the third quarter, the teams traded punts, with neither team providing a scoring threat. Early in the fourth quarter, Hawaii place-kicker Scott Enos put the Warriors ahead with a 27 yard field goal.

The Spartans answered Hawaii's score with a nine play, 61 yard drive, highlighted by a 37 yard catch and run from Reed to wide receiver Kevin Jurovich, which would be the longest gain of the night for Sna Jose State. Tyler Cope's 33 yard field goal tied the score and 10 apiece.

With 8:40 remaining in the game, Hawaii was given a short field to work with after Philip Zavala's low line drive kick-off was returned to midfield. Austin completed four passes and the Warriors reached the San Jose State 10 yard line. However, after a sack by linebacker Pompey Festejo dropped Hawaii back to the 14 yard line, Enos missed a 31 yard field goal that would have put Hawaii ahead.

With the score still tied 10-10 and needing only a field goal, the Spartans had a chance to drive for the game winner. Beginning at their own 20 yard line, the Spartans drove to the Hawaii 44. On first down, running back Lamon Muldrow had the ball jarred loose by Hawaii defensive end Tuika Tufaga, and it was recovered by the Warriors Jeramy Bryant. The play ended the chance for a game winning drive, and was eerily similar to the game in 2007 between San Jose State and Hawaii when San Jose State's James Callier fumbled late in the fourth quarter on a potential game icing drive, which opened the door for Hawaii to win that game in overtime as well.

In the overtime period, Hawaii took the first possession and drove the 25 yards in five plays, with Leon Wright-Jackson running it in from the five yard line.

With the score 17-10, San Jose State needed to match Hawaii's touchdown to force a second overtime. However, Kyle Reed's pass to Jurovich on fourth and nine was broken up by Jeramy Bryant, ending the Spartans' hope of delivering a victory for Tomey.

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Mike Morgan is a Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at mike@insidesparta.com

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