Quarterback Taylor Graham threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Donnie King, Jr, with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter lifting the Black Team to a 27-21 victory over the White in the annual Warrior Bowl, Thursday afternoon at the Clarence T.C. Ching Field.
The second annual “Spring Fling” drew a crowd of approximately 900, who witnessed Graham rally the Black. Behind quarterback Jeremy Higgins, the White led 21-13 before Graham threw two fourth quarter touchdowns – a 15-yard fade pass in the corner to Trevor Davis and the winning score to King on a post pattern.
“It was just a matter of trying to have fun,” head coach Norm Chow. “We told the kids we’re not going to evaluate this, we’ll enjoy it, we’ll take a look at the tapes and evaluate it, find out the mistakes that were made. This game will not determine our lineup this fall or anything like that.”
The Black got on the scoreboard first as Graham found the 6-foot-1 Davis, who leaped over a defender for a 24-yard score, just before the end of the first quarter. “He throws the ball really good, he has a connection with everybody really, he’s a good thrower all around” Davis said of Graham.
Said Graham, “Trevor made the play, you just put it up and give the guys an opportunity to show what they can do.”
The White team answered back after John Hardy-Tuliau scooped up a Samson Anguay fumble and returned it for a touchdown. They added another score when Higgins found Chris Gant for a 14-yard score, the first of two for the duo, for a 14-6 lead just before halftime.
In the third quarter, linebacker Benetton Fonua picked off Higgins and returned it 22 yards to the White 3-yard line. Two plays later, Steven Lakalaka scored from five yards out pulling the Black to within one at 14-13. On the ensuing possession, Higgins found Gant on a 69-yard catch and run extending White’s lead to 21-13.
After a Black punt, Anguay fumbled for the second time and the Black’s Tony Grimes picked it up and returned it to the White 15-yard line. With Graham back in at quarterback, the junior found Davis on the very next play for their second score.
The Black forced another punt and Graham led the team to the go-ahead touchdown.
“We came out and had a mindset that this is a game-like situation and coach put us in the game jerseys and game helmets from the beginning of spring camp and we wanted to bring everything together and end it all right,” said converted defensive end George Daily-Lyles, who had a game-high four sacks for the Black. “It’s nice to see everybody making plays for once, we come together as a team and knock this thing out. It’s good to see everybody doing their part.”
“It was good, we had to get the rust off in the beginning but we got rolling toward the end and had a couple of scoring drives,” Graham said. “It’s what I love doing, coming out here playing football. It feels great. I think we definitely improved as a team. We’ve got a long way to go before August but I believe we can do it and keep preparing for USC.”
The Warrior Bowl marked the end of spring practices for the Warriors, who open the 2013 season against USC, Aug. 29 at Aloha Stadium.
Passing: Graham 11-19-2-157 (3 TD); J. Alo 0-2-0
Receiving: Vele 3-27; King 2-43 (1 TD); Lakalaka 2-13; Davis 3-67 (2 TDS); Cofer 1-7
Rushing: Lakalaka 13-43 (1 TD); Anguay 4-10; Lopez, 1-0; Graham 4-4; Alo 1-[-5]
Tackles: Daily-Lyles 6; Garcia-Williams 3; K. Alo 3; Gener 2; Grimes 2
Sacks: Daily-Lyles 4, Andrade 1
Fumble Recoveries: Grimes
Passing: Higgins 8-21-1-153 (2 TD); Woolsey 2-5-0-13
Receiving: Moleni 2-22; Poueu-Luna 1-6; Evans 1-27; Gant 5-106 (2 TD); Anguay 1-5
Rushing: Woolsey 3-5; Muraoka 3-4; Higgins 4-[-8]; Langkilde 8-38; Anguay 3-6
Tackles: Daley 4; Sablan 4; Tamatuia 3; Uti 3; Friel 2; Maggitt
Interceptions: Tamatuia; Martin
Fumble Recoveries: Hardy-Tuliau (TD)
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*