This story first appeared at www.hawaiitribune-herald.com
By KALANI TAKASE
HONOLULU — Going the extra distance for is nothing new for the San Diego State football team. The Aztecs played their third overtime game in their last six games Saturday night in a 28-21 win over Hawaii.
Adam Muema rushed for 163 yards and the go-ahead 2-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Aztecs (6-4, 5-1 Mountain West) rallied from a 21-14 fourth quarter deficit to capture their third straight win.
San Diego State tied it at 21 with 2:34 to play in regulation on a 14-yard touchdown run by Chad Young and the ensuing extra point by Seamus McMorrow.
The Rainbow Warriors (0-10, 0-7) had a chance to win it on the final play of the fourth quarter, but Taylor Graham’s deep ball fell incomplete and the teams went into overtime.
San Diego State started the extra period on offense and needed just three plays — all runs by Muema — to score. Hawaii gave up a second-down sack on its ensuing drive, followed by a pair of incomplete passes to end the game.
“I thought we were going to score, but I also thought they were going to score,” Aztecs coach Rocky Long said. “I know this is going to sound funny, but I thought the biggest play of the game was on first down (in overtime) when (Hawaii) gave the ball to Joey (Iosefa) and we stopped him for a no gain. I thought stopping him and making it second-and-long gave us the advantage.”
Muema carried 24 times and averaged 6.8 yards per rush. The Aztecs rushed for 234 yards, and quarterback Quinn Kahler completed 17 of 34 pass attempts for 265 yards with a touchdown to Colin Lockett. Lockett finished with four grabs for 106 yards.
Josh Gavert led the defensive effort with 11 tackles and one interception.
Late in the first quarter, Hawaii capitalized off a San Diego State special teams’ miscue.
Scott Harding’s rugby-style, end-over-end punt hit the Aztecs’ David Lamar downfield and was recovered by the Rainbow Warriors’ Jerrol Garcia-Williams at the SDSU 23-yard line.
Two plays later, Iosefa found the end zone from five yards out to score the game’s first points. Tyler Hadden made the extra point to give Hawaii a 7-0 lead.
A Hawaii defensive error allowed San Diego State to tie up at 7-7 a few minutes later.
Tavita Woodard jumped offside to give the Aztecs a free play, which they took full advantage of. Kaehler hit Lockett along the right sideline for a 56-yard touchdown pass. Seamus McMorrow tacked on the PAT to cap the 64-yard drive with 8:40 left in the second quarter.
The Rainbow Warriors answered on their ensuing drive, which covered 65 yards in five plays, capped by Sean Schroeder’s 31-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Harold Moleni. Hadden’s PAT gave Hawaii a 14-7 lead, which held until Donnel Pumphrey scored early in the third quarter on a 30-yard run.
Schroeder put Hawaii ahead for a third time with 9:42 left in the fourth quarter on his 8-yard scoring strike to Iosefa to culminate a 16-play, 86-yard drive that took 7:17 off the clock.
The Aztecs responded with an 8-play, 82-yard drive that resulted in Young’s 14-yard, game-tying touchdown run in the final minutes of regulation.
“I don’t think this tells us anything different than the last, what have we won, the last six out of seven, and every one of them have been a battle,” Long said. “We have great character, and we try really hard and we play really hard. After an 0-3 start, these kids have made themselves bowl-eligible and that says a lot about their character.”
Iosefa carried a school-record 37 times for 150 yards, and Schroeder passed for 194 yards on 18-of-36 passing while Brendan Daley made a team-high 11 tackles.
“We weren’t setting our edges properly, not filling,” Rainbow Warriors coach Norm Chow said. “We did it sometimes and didn’t in other, and we should have taken a couple more deep shots.”
San Diego State leads the all-time series over Hawaii 17-9-2. The Aztecs are now 6-2 all-time in overtime games, including 2-1 in 2013.
They beat Nevada, 51-44, and lost to Fresno State, 35-28, in previous overtime games this season. The Rainbow Warriors fell to 7-3 all time in OT games.
San Diego St. 0 7 7 7 7 —28
Hawaii 7 7 0 7 0 —21
Haw—Iosefa 5 run (Hadden kick), 1:14.
SDSU—Lockett 56 pass from Kaehler (McMorrow kick), 8:40.
Haw—Moleni 31 pass from Schroeder (Hadden kick), 7:00.
SDSU—Pumphrey 30 run (McMorrow kick), 11:53.
Haw—Iosefa 8 pass from Schroeder (Hadden kick), 9:42.
SDSU—Young 14 run (McMorrow kick), 2:34.
SDSU—Muema 2 run (McMorrow kick).
First downs 21 20
Rushes-yards 39-234 47-161
Passing 265 194
Comp-Att-Int 17-34-0 18-37-1
Return Yards 2 9
Punts-Avg. 7-34.0 10-38.2
Fumbles-Lost 4-4 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-44 5-33
Time of Possession 28:56 31:04
RUSHING—San Diego St., Muema 24-163, Pumphrey 10-61, Young 2-23, Kaehler 3-(minus 13). Hawaii, Iosefa 37-150, Bowens 1-20, Lakalaka 3-4, Schroeder 6-(minus 13).
PASSING—San Diego St., Kaehler 17-34-0-265. Hawaii, Schroeder 18-36-1-194, Graham 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—San Diego St., Lockett 4-106, Ruffin 4-99, Denso 2-25, Pumphrey 2-21, Young 2-8, Roberts 1-3, Vizzi 1-2, Muema 1-1. Hawaii, Gant 5-41, Langkilde 5-35, Harding 2-43, Iosefa 2-18, Moleni 1-31, Lakalaka 1-13, Stutzmann 1-8, Anguay 1-5.