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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveNovember 22, 2020, 2:21am
Sat, Nov 21, 2020 @ Aloha Stadium [ 6:00 pm ]
HALAWA — The University of Hawaii's fourth-quarter rally came up short in a 40-32 loss to Boise State in a Mountain West Conference football game at Aloha Stadium Saturday night.
The Rainbow Warriors (2-3) trailed by as many as 24 points midway through the third quarter and were behind by 23 points with under 10 minutes to play but ultimately succumbed to the visiting Broncos (4-1 overall, 4-0 Mountain West) for the ninth consecutive time in the series.
It was Boise State's second straight win since a 34-point loss to nationally-ranked BYU on Nov. 6, while Hawaii suffered its first back-to-back loss this season and saw its run of five straight home victories snapped.
Despite a productive night by senior running back/slotback Calvin Turner — who accounted for three touchdowns, all of them after halftime — the Rainbow Warriors, who dropped their first game at Aloha Stadium since Fresno State rallied to a 41-38 win on Nov. 2, 2019.
Turner, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound graduate transfer from Jacksonville University (Florida), caught touchdown passes of 36 and 15 yards, scored on a 1-yard run and ran in a pair of two-point conversions. In all, he was responsible for 22 points and accounted for 158 all-purpose yards.
"Calvin's a great player, I thought he did a great job," Hawaii coach Todd Graham said of Turner, who has found the end zone in each of UH's last three games.
Turner played three seasons at Jacksonville, an FCS-level program, where he earned all-conference recognition. The school discontinued its football team at the end of the 2019 season, but Turner, a native of Savannah, Georgia, has quickly found a new home with the ‘Bows.
"Calvin is a playmaker," said quarterback Chevan Cordeiro. "When everything is going wrong, my job is to find him or just find all my running backs or check-downs, and give him the ball, give Calvin the ball in space, I mean, he makes the first guy miss every time.
Turner caught five passes for 65 yards, carried 12 times for 32 yards and chipped in kickoff returns for 61 yards.
"Obviously he's a tremendous playmaker, he's a big-play threat guy that can score any time he gets the football and so I'm very, very proud of how he played." Graham added.
Boise State held a 40-17 lead after three quarters, but Turner's second TD reception — a 15-yard hook-up with Cordeiro on a quick pass to the right flat — cut into it with 9:56 to play. The touchdown came three plays after Turner had an apparent 29-yard TD run on a reverse negated by a holding penalty and one play after a 13-yard completion from Cordeiro to Jared Smart on fourth-and-5.
Matthew Shipley's extra point made it a 40-24 Broncos' lead.
Boise State went three-and-out on its ensuing possession and UH orchestrated a 12-play, 64-yard drive that culminated with Cordeiro's 4-yard scoring strike to Smart with 4:52 remaining. The drive was extended by an eight-yard pass completion from Cordeiro to Jonah Panoke on fourth-and-4 and further aided by three defensive penalties by the Broncos that each resulted in a first down.
After Turner ran in the ensuing two-point conversion on a direct snap, Boise State's lead was trimmed to eight points. However, the Broncos picked up two first downs and were able to run out the clock.
"We were just fighting until the end, just never give up, still fight. I mean, it was still a game, we still had a chance and we just fell short," said Cordeiro, who finished with 253 yards through the air on 25-of-48 passing and three touchdowns.
The sophomore quarterback and 2018 Saint Louis graduate also led UH in rushing with 90 yards on 18 carries.
"I'm really proud of Chevan. I thought he played courageously and made great decisions and obviously (Boise State) had a good defensive football team," Graham said.
Boise State led 19-3 at halftime and held its largest lead at 33-9 after Andrew Van Buren's 11-yard TD run with 8:18 left in the third quarter.
The Broncos finished with 408 yards of total offense to Hawaii's 394.
Hank Bachmeier passed for 278 yards and completed 21 of his 31 pass attempts. He was intercepted once — by UH's Cameron Lockridge — and sacked once, by Justus Tavai.
"At times we played well defensively — I think you're playing against a good football team — at times we played well offensively and at times we didn't play well," Graham lamented.
Khalil Shakir led all players with 11 receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Van Buren carried 27 times for 113 yards and two scores.
SPECIAL TEAMS BOOSTS BRONCOS
Over the years Boise State has gained a reputation for special teams' excellence and it proved why once again Saturday night.
The Broncos got a stellar effort on special teams by return man Avery Williams, who had 192 all-purpose yards in the victory. The biggest blow to the Rainbow Warriors was Williams' 99-yard kickoff return that came on the heels of UH's first touchdown: Turner's 1-yard TD run.
"We're sitting there, we got momentum and then we kickoff to them and then a (99-)yard kickoff return for touchdown was the backbreaker for us," Graham noted.
It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown allowed by UH since Oct. 14, 2017 (San Jose State's Rashead Johnson, 96 yards).
Williams had two kickoff returns in all for 120 yards, but he also hurt UH with three punt returns for 72 yards. His first punt return went for 34 yards and set-up Bachmeier's 38-yard TD pass to Shakir two plays later.
After the intermission, Williams ripped off a 36-yard return that the Broncos turned into an 11-yard Van Buren TD jaunt three plays later.
"The kickoff return for touchdown was the difference in the game, but moreover than that the punt returns killed us; the punt returns set them up for scores. They wind up on special teams scoring seven points and setting up two more (touchdowns), that's 21 points and that's a big, big difference in a game like this," said Graham, who explained that Williams should not have had those opportunities for big returns that he did.
"On the big returns on the punt, we're trying to kick the ball out of bounds, not kick it to (Williams) and we did that all week (in practice) and then for whatever reason we couldn't get it done tonight and we gotta do a better job," he said.
Boise State also got first-half field goals of 32 and 42 yards from Jonah Dalmas, but had one PAT blocked by UH's Jonah Laulu.
KANIHO CHIPS IN FOR BOISE D
Boise State senior nickelback Kekaula Kaniho, a 2017 Kahuku graduate, started the 31st game of his collegiate career Saturday and finished with five solo tackles, including one for loss.
Kaniho was one of three players from the state of Hawaii that saw game time for the Broncos Saturday night. His younger brother, Kaonohi, a freshman cornerback, recorded one solo tackle on special teams (kickoff coverage).
Also getting into the contest was freshman reserve offensive lineman Riden Leong, a 2018 Maryknoll graduate. Two others from the 50th state — redshirt sophomore OL Dalton Lins (Lahainaluna '18) and freshman punter Keola Downing (Kamehameha '20) — also made the trip and were suited up, but did not play.
• Redshirt freshman WR Jonah Panoke, a 2018 Saint Louis alum, made his second start of the season. He was targeted eight times and caught five passes for 30 yards, including three for first downs. He also carried once for two yards on a sweep. Panoke left the game briefly after he was hit by Kekaula Kaniho following a short completion, but returned to the contest soon after.
• Sophomore DE/LB Darius Muasau, a 2019 Mililani graduate, posted seven tackles — all solo stops — in the loss. It was his first game this season with fewer than double-digit tackles.
• Junior linebacker Jeremiah Pritchard, who attended Farrington before graduating from a Las Vegas-area high school, made five solo tackles and registered two pass break-ups.
• Senior OL Michael Eletise, a 2016 Kaiser alum, made his fourth start of the season at left guard. One week after it allowed seven sacks in a 34-10 loss to San Diego State, UH's offensive line surrendered two sacks against the Broncos, who entered the game with nine sacks through their first four games.
• Sophomore DB Kai Kaneshiro, a 2018 Saint Louis graduate made his fourth start of the season at safety and finished with two tackles, including one for loss.
• Sophomore PK/P Adam Stack, a 2017 Kamehameha graduate, averaged 43.2 yards on his five punts. His longest boot went 46 yards just before the end of the opening quarter, which was also his only punt that was downed inside the 20-yard line. Stack also had a tackle on special teams.
NO TIME FOR REST
The road ahead doesn't get much easier for the Rainbow Warriors, whose next two opponents are also unbeaten in the Mountain West Standings.
Hawaii will host first-place Nevada (5-0) Saturday before it visits San Jose State (4-0), which is tied with Boise State for second place, on Dec. 5.
Graham is optimistic that his team can ride some of the momentum it generated in the second half into its showdown against the Wolf Pack.
"I told them in the locker room that I was very, very proud of how they played. … I do think we gained confidence, but we gotta go to work and figure out a way to go beat Nevada," he said.
Cordeiro was in agreement with his coach.
"I feel like we can just build off of what we did in the second half, we were clicking in the second half," he said. "We can just build off of that for the next game, practice hard this week and start off strong from the beginning."
ODDS AND ENDS
Hawaii scored first for the first time in its five games this year when Matthew Shipley converted a 27-yard field goal to give his team a 3-0 lead with 4:36 left in the opening quarter. … The Rainbow Warriors did not turn the ball over for the first time this season. … Cordeiro finished as UH's leading rusher for the third time in 2020. … RB Miles Reed had a career-high six receptions for 69 yards in the loss. … DB Cameron Lockridge had his first career interception in the second quarter. … three different players attempted at least one punt for UH: Stack, Cordeiro and Stan Gaudion. … WR Jared Smart has caught a pass in all 20 games he has played in his UH career. … OL Ilm Manning's streak of 33 consecutive starts came to an end Saturday. Micah Vanterpool made his first career start in Manning's place at left tackle. … UH has forced at least one turner in all five games this season. … Boise State now leads the all-time series with Hawaii, which dates back to 1996, by a margin of 15 to 3. … UH's last win over the Broncos came on Nov. 23, 2007, when it posted a 39-27 victory at Aloha Stadium en route to an appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. … The game was a rematch of the 2019 Mountain West Conference championship game, which the Broncos won, 31-10, in Boise on Dec. 7, 2019.
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