Rainbow Warriors Fall Short at Snapdragon, 16-14

Rainbow Warriors Fall Short at Snapdragon, 16-14

Saturday, October 8, 2022

By: Tanner Haworth

The Rainbow Warriors dropped a heartbreaking loss Saturday night in San Diego, as the University of Hawaii lost to the Aztecs, 16-14. Defense highlighted the first half of the game with only three points being scored by the Aztecs going into the half as both offenses struggled to find opportunities to find the endzone. 

San Diego State came into the game with a list of negative narratives following them into the field: a new offensive coordinator, new quarterback coach, starting quarterback out with injury, and the new starter Jalen Mayden coming in as a converted safety.

Photo by: Cole Cabrera

Aztecs head coach Brady Hoke didn’t get swamped by the narratives, as he pulled a routine, one possession SDSU victory. Mayden finished the game going 24-36 for 322 yards and a touchdown, leading his team to a game winning field goal in the final minute of the game. 

On the other side, Timmy Chang and the ‘Bows had a bye week to prepare for the start of Mountain West play after what many consider to be the worst loss of the season against New Mexico State. The main culprit? A running defense that ranked at the bottom of the FBS and allowed a bottom tier Aggie team to run for what seemed like a mile in their win over Hawaii.

The criticism was heard, as the Hawaii defense held the Aztecs to a lone touchdown on the day and only allowed 95 yards for a run-happy San Diego State squad. Penei Pavihi and Peter Manuma led the team with 10 total tackles each. John Tuitupou and Tariq Jones were credited with a sack each on the day as the Hawaii defense racked up six tackles for loss, most of the season so far. 

The Hawaii offense took its time today as they looked to present a new look to their offense after working on implementing more Run and Shoot concepts. Brayden Schager finished going 20-34 on 196 yards and a 66-yard bomb to the returning Zion Bowens for a touchdown. Bowens finished the day catching nine for 108 yards. 

The ‘Bows rushing attack combined for 146 yards, as Dedrick Parson (70 yards) and Tylan Hines (68 yards) both broke off 20-plus yard carries including Parson’s 22-yard touchdown in Hawaii’s final possession. 

While the ‘Bows dropped the heartbreaking loss on Saturday, the team will return to Manoa for their first home game since September 17th. Saturday’s opponent will be a struggling Nevada Wolfpack as they too faced similar struggles as Hawaii this offseason due to the transfer portal. This will be the reunion for multiple coaches with the Nevada program like Timmy Chang and Thomas Sheffield, and assistants Silas Clapham, Matt Chon and Jimbo Davis.

Photo by: Cole Cabrera