Naval Academy falls to hometown Warriors

Midshipman wide receiver Tre Walker fights off Hawaii defensive back Kalen Hicks for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz
Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

In four collegiate football matchups between the U.S. Naval Academy and the University of Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors of Hawaii hold a 3-1 edge and all three of their wins have come at home.

In the latest meeting between the two teams Sept. 1 at Aloha Stadium, Navy hoped to reverse the curse and upend Hawaii to even up the series at 2-2.

However, the Midshipmen fell aground against Hawaii’s revamped run-and-shoot offense, losing by a score of 59-41.

While Navy struggled to get its triple-option in motion, Hawaii scored on its first six possessions en route to 552 yards in total offense with 436 yards through the air — the third most allowed in Ken Niumatalolo’s Naval head coaching career of 11 years at the Academy.

A huge boost for Hawaii came in the second quarter when Navy punter Owen White had his punt blocked deep in Navy territory.

The blocked kick was scooped up by special teams player Maxwell Hendrie and returned to the house for a 28-0 spread.

Navy finally got on the scoreboard, when, on the ensuing kickoff, Michael Boyle returned the ball all the way to cut the lead back down to 21.

Navy would draw as close as 10 points at 38-28 after scoring on back-to-back drives to open the second half, but Hawaii answered and retook the momentum by following up with a 79-yard drive of its own that was capped off by a clutch fourth-down completion from UH quarterback Cole McDonald to Cedric Byrd for 31 yards and another Hawaii touchdown.

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Category: News