Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • April 13, 2021
BREAKING: Hawaii 39, New Mexico 33 (FINAL)

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Editor’s note: Look for a more in-depth game story later Saturday night at BedrockSportsHawaii.com.
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In front of zero fans due to COVID-19 restrictions, Hawaii won its football home opener 39-33 over Mountain West Conference opponent New Mexico on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

Calvin Turner, a quarterback turned receiver, made a 64-yard TD catch and run of a Chevan Cordeiro pass, and Jared Smart added a leaping 2-point conversion grab for a 36-30 UH bulge with 12:19 left in the game.

Later, with 6:33 to go, Matthew Shipley booted a 41-yard field goal for a 9-point, 39-30 bulge.

With 4:12 to go, UH linebacker Quentin Frazier put a damper on the Lobos’ chances with an interception of a Tevaki Tuioti pass.

But New Mexico didn’t go down easy. George Steinkamp kicked a 42-yard field goal with 1:21 left to get the Lobos to within six, 39-33 — the final margin.

It was a back-and-forth affair the whole way. The Lobos (0-2) took a 20-7 edge, but the Rainbow Warriors (2-1) struck quickly late in the first half and early in the second for a 28-20 lead.

New Mexico got within one, 28-27, on Nathaniel Jones’ 26-yard TD run with 9:33 left in the third.

And that’s where it stood going into the fourth.

Then, early in the fourth, Steinkamp’s 25-yard field goal put the Lobos ahead temporarily, 30-28.

Cordeiro shook off a slow start to go 33-for-43 for 410 yards and four TDs. Two of those TD throws went to Zion Bowens in exciting fashion to help erase that 13-point first-half deficit.

There were lots of contributors offensively for New Mexico. Quarterback Tevaki Tuioti threw for 181 yards and two TDs of 52 and 29 yards to the speedy Jordan Kress to build that early lead.

In addition, the Lobos had two players rush for 96 yards — Jones and Bobby Cole.

Hawaii’s defense, which had a horrendous time in the early going, stiffened with six stops on New Mexico’s last eight possessions.

The Lobos’ Jerrick Reed II did a masterful job of slowing down the Rainbow Warriors’ offense in the early going with two first-half interceptions.

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