Winless Warriors head to Las Vegas to take on the Rebels

The University of Hawaii Warriors are still in search of their first win of the season and will get another crack at it Saturday when they take on the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Warriors dropped to 0-5 on the season after falling to the San Jose State Spartans, 37-27, last week at Aloha Stadium,

The Spartans, who went into last week’s game against the Warriors at 1-3, jumped ahead in the opening drive of the game when kicker Austin Lopez drilled a 28-yard field goal with 13:34 in the first quarter, giving San Jose a 3-0 lead.

After the Warrior defense forced the Spartans to punt with a little under 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Warriors finally got on the board.

Highlighted by quarterback Sean Schroeder hitting receiver Scott Harding for 42 yards on the second play of the drive and running back Steven Lakalaka rushing for 29 yards on the third, the Warriors found themselves on the San Jose State 12-yard line.

Chris Gant finished off the 6-play, 83-yard drive 3 plays later with a rushing touchdown from the 9-yard line. Tyler Hadden hit the PAT to give the Warriors a 7-3 lead with 5:53 left in the first quarter.

Hawaii’s defense forced the Spartans to go three and out on the following drive and their offense extended their lead on the next series.

Quarterback Ikaika Woolsey found Vasquez Haynes on the first play of the drive for a 44-yard gain, bringing the spot from the Hawaii 45-yard line to the San Jose State 11.

Schroeder found Haynes two plays later for a 8-yard touchdown through the air. Hadden pushed the Warrior lead to 14-3 with 3:18 remaining in the first.

The Spartans answered immediately on the next drive when quarterback David Fales connected with Chandler Jones for a 61-yard score. Lopez drilled the extra point to cut the deficit to 10-14, a score that carried over into the second quarter.

In the second quarter it was all San Jose.

After a Tim Crawley rush for 3 yards and a Fales 40-yard pass to Tyler Winston, the Spartans set up at the Hawaii 35. Fales capped the three-play drive with a 35-yard pass to Billy Freeman on the next play for the score. Lopez remained perfect with the PAT and put the Spartans back on top at 17-14 with 13:36 left in the first half.

San Jose held the Warriors scoreless for the remainder of the half and put 10 more points on the board with 51-yard field goal from Lopez and 39-yard rushing touchdown from Jarrod Lawson.

The Spartans went into halftime up 27-14.

In the second-half, the Spartans lead proved to be insurmountable.

Hawaii and San Jose State traded touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Warriors didn’t make up much ground in the fourth, putting up just six points compared to the Spartans three.

The Warriors didn’t capitalize on two Fales interceptions in the second-half, committing two turnovers of their own, a fumble and an interception.

Woolsey saw time at quarterback position on Saturday but it was Schroeder that got the majority of the reps. Schroeder went 28 of 50 through the air for 342 yards, 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Like the Warriors, the UNLV Rebels are also streaking, just not losing.

In their 56-42 win against the New Mexico Lobos last weekend, the Rebels pushed their winning streak to three in a row after starting the season at 0-2.

During their streak, the Rebels have averaged 41.7 points per game while giving up an average of 23.3 points per game to their opposition.

Quarterback for the Rebels, Caleb Herring, has been on a tear since taking over the starting position in week three, completing 66 of his 88 passes for 713 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Saturday’s game against the Rebels won’t be an easy task for the Warriors, who are desperately trying to get their first win of the season.

Hawaii’s starting quarterback for the first three games of the season, Taylor Graham, has missed the team’s last two games and it is uncertain if he will suit up against the Rebels.

If Graham isn’t able to go, Schroeder and Woolsey could be expected to split time at the quarterback position again.

The Warriors were victorious in last season’s meeting with the Rebels, thumping them 48-10.

Saturday’s matchup between the Rebels and Warriors will be the 23rd meeting between the teams with Warriors leading 14-8.

Saturday’s game will be televised on Oceanic-Pay-Per-View and will be aired live on ESPN 1420 AM.

• Tyson Agbayani, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or tagbayani@thegardenisland.com.

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