Ral­ly­ing Rain­bows

Hawaii edges BYU in last minute

Antelope Valley Press - - Sports - By DOUG FERGUSON

HONOLULU — Cole Mc­Don­ald capped a stel­lar per­for­mance with a 24-yard touch­down pass to Nick Mard­ner with 1:17 re­main­ing, and Hawaii beat BYU 38-34 on Tues­day night for the War­riors’ first 10-win sea­son since 2010.

Mc­Don­ald threw for 493 yards and four touch­downs against a BYU de­fense that was al­low­ing an av­er­age of 203.8 yards pass­ing per game.

Still, it took a late rally for Hawaii to beat BYU for the first time since 2001 when both were part of the Western Ath­letic Con­fer­ence. Af­ter lead­ing 31-24 at half­time, the Cougars (7-6) shut out the War­riors un­til the fi­nal pos­ses­sion.

Mc­Don­ald scram­bled for 9 yards. He found Mard­ner be­hind the de­fense for a 38-yard pass that at least put Hawaii in range to tie the game. And then he hit Mard­ner on a post route, and he tum­bled into the end zone as Aloha Sta­dium erupted for its home team, even though the War­riors (105) were tech­ni­cally the vis­it­ing team.

BYU wasted a solid game by Zach Wil­son, whose fa­ther grew up in Hawaii. Wil­son threw for 274 yards and ran for 72 yards and two short TDs to help the Cougars rally from a 10-point deficit in the first half.

BYU’s last chance ended when Khoury Beth­ley in­ter­cepted Wil­son for the sec­ond time, and the cel­e­bra­tion was on.

Mc­Don­ald fin­ished 28 of 46, and he did most of his dam­age in the first half by throw­ing for 331 yards and three scores. Of the four touch­down drives, the short­est was 40 yards. That one fol­lowed Beth­ley’s first in­ter­cep­tion. Two plays later, Mc­Don­ald found Jared Smart on a post route with a per­fectly thrown pass that made it 14-0.

Wil­son brought the Cougars back, lead­ing them on touch­down drives of 73, 75 and 75 yards, the last one end­ing on Micah Si­mon scor­ing on an 11yard re­verse.

BYU still leads the se­ries 23-9.

This was the first time the schools met in a bowl game.

THE TAKE­AWAY

Hawaii: Mc­Don­ald used the mid­dle of the field and was not afraid to go deep on a BYU de­fense that had been stub­born against the pass most of the year. He went over 4,000 yards pass­ing for the sea­son.

BYU: The Cougars had great bal­ance with the run (231 yards) and pass (274 yards). But they were sus­cep­ti­ble to the deep ball all game, and it cost them in the end.

AIR HAWAII

Hawaii re­ceivers Smart and JoJo Ward each went over 1,000 yards for the year, join­ing Cedric Byrd II. This is the sixth time in NCAA his­tory that a team had three play­ers with at least 1,000 yards re­ceiv­ing in a sea­son. Hawaii has done it twice, the other time in 2007. The other schools are Texas Tech (2003), Tulsa (2003), Hous­ton (2009 and Fresno State (2013).

UP NEXT

Hawaii: At Ari­zona on Aug. 29 to open the 2020 sea­son.

BYU: At Utah on Sept. 5 to open the 2020 sea­son.

As­so­ci­ated Press

NOT QUITE — The foot­ball is just out of reach of Hawaii wide re­ceiver Jared Smart (23) as BYU de­fen­sive back Sha­mon Wil­lis (29) and line­backer Kavika Fonua (34) de­fend dur­ing the first half of the Hawaii Bowl on Tues­day in Honolulu.

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