‘Bows Rush Attack Eclipses 200 Yards, Take Down Wolf Pack

By: Paul Brecht

MANOA – The University of Hawai’i football team welcomed conference rival Nevada to the friendly confines of the Clarence T. C. Ching Athletics Complex Saturday evening, using senior running back Dedrick Parson’s three touchdown day and a dominant day from the defense to take down the Wolf Pack, 31-16, and move to 2-5 (1-1 Mountain West) on the season.

After Nevada (2-5, 0-3 Mountain West) won the opening toss and deferred, the Rainbow Warriors marched down the field on the opening drive with a balanced attack, both through the air and on the ground. The ‘Bows capped their first possession with a one-yard touchdown run from Parson to take an early 7-0 advantage.

Nevada wouldn’t flinch despite giving up an opening drive touchdown, as quarterback Nate Cox and the Wolf Pack converted two third downs on their own drive and then punched in a touchdown on fourth and goal to tie the game at 7-7.

Following a blown up bubble screen and a near-interception, Hawai’i quarterback Brayden Schager showed off his athleticism to escape the Nevada rush and find Nick Cenacle for an 18-yard gain to pick up a first down. The Rainbow Warriors would take to the air two plays later as Schager found Zion Bowens wide open downfield for a 48-yard score to retake a 14-7 lead.

It was a lead that the ‘Bows wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the night.

On the ensuing possession, Hawai’i forced what appeared to be a three-and-out but a late personal foul flag extended the drive for Nevada to the end of the first quarter.

The Wolf Pack would open the second quarter with a punt back to the ‘Bows. A one-handed interception from Nevada’s Eli’jah Winston to set up the visitors with their best opening field position of the night but the Rainbow Warriors defense would hold strong, forcing a field goal and maintaining the lead, 14-10.

Hawai’i would start their next drive off with back-to-back 25+ yard plays, as RB Tylan Hines ripped off a 30-yard run and WR Jalen Walthall had a 28-yard catch-and-run to set the ‘Bows up on the Nevada 36. Following a personal foul penalty on Nevada, Parson powered his way into the endzone for his second rushing touchdown of the night and extending the lead to 21-10 with 9:11 left to play in the first half.

A Wolf Pack field goal on the next possession to make it 21-13 would be the final score of the half, as the ‘Bows would be forced to punt and Nevada missed a 45-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.

Another Nevada field goal with 3:19 left in the third quarter would pull the Wolf Pack to within five, but it would be the last time the Hawai’i defense allowed points.

The Rainbow Warriors answered back with a long, methodical drive spanning over the end of the third quarter and the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Following a fourth down conversion, the ‘Bows used the legs of Dedrick Parson once again as the senior back tied his career-high with his third rushing touchdown of the day to give Hawai’i a 28-16 lead.

UH’s Matthew Shipley chipped in a 27-yard field goal with 1:37 left to cap off the scoring as the Rainbow Warriors defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack, 31-16, to even their Mountain West record at 1-1.

It was UH first-year head coach Timmy Chang’s first conference victory and first win over an FBS opponent, as the former record-setting quarterback helped his alma mater take down his former employer. Chang spent the past five seasons as the wide receivers and tight ends coach at Nevada.

UH quarterback Brayden Schager finished the night completing 13 of 25 passes for 173 yards with a touchdown and interception. His favorite target of the night, Zion Bowens, finished with four catches for 79 yards and a touchdown catch. Dedrick Parson led a rushing attack that went over 200 yards on the day with 136 rushing yards of his own on 24 carries to go along with three touchdowns. Tylan Hines chipped in 70 yards rushing on 12 carries for the ‘Bows.

Penei Pavihi led Hawai’i with eight total tackles, including six solo tackles. Hugh Nelson and Peter Manuma chipped in eight and seven tackles apiece to help a dominant run defense against Nevada. John Tuitupou added a fourth quarter strip sack for the ‘Bows defense.

The Rainbow Warriors will hit the road next week to take on another conference foe in Colorado State, with kick-off scheduled for 10 A.M. HST.