Rainbows on Christmas
Hawaii caps turnaround from 0-12 with bowl win
Posted: Sunday December 26, 1999 01:20 AM
Hawaii's Channon Harris (85) and Kaulana Noa celebrate after Harris' first-half touchdown catch. AP
HONOLULU (AP) -- The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors capped their remarkable turnaround under June Jones at the expense of Dennis Erickson and the resurgent Oregon State Beavers.
Dan Robinson threw two touchdown passes to Channon Harris and Hawaii sacked Oregon State's Jonathan Smith six times in a 23-17 victory Saturday in the Oahu Bowl.
A year after an 0-12 season, the Rainbow Warriors finished 9-4, and won a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.
"Just like all year we were underdogs in this game and we just bonded together," Jones said. "It shows what you can do when you just come together as one."
The loss brought an unwanted end to a historic season for Oregon State (7-5), which posted its first winning season in 29 years and made its first bowl appearance since 1965, when it won the Pac-10 title and went to the Rose Bowl.
"They deserved to win. They executed on both sides of the ball," said Erickson. "We are happy with our season, we were 7-5, but we are disappointed with what happened in the bowl game. It was not how we wanted to finish."
The victory was Hawaii's first in three tries against a Pac-10 team, and the Rainbow Warriors say the win on national television squelches doubters and proves the program is on its way up.
"I think we woke up a lot of people," defensive lineman Tony Tuioti said. "A lot of people know we're for real now. We're not a fluke."
On Hawaii's first possession of the second half, Robinson picked apart the Beavers defense, hitting Harris with passes of 9 and 20 yards before finding him wide open for a 30-yard touchdown play. Harris caught the ball around the Oregon State 15, and scrambled to the end zone after Terrance Carroll missed a tackle.
Hawaii took a 20-10 lead with 3:46 left in the third quarter on Eric Hannum's 22-yard field goal. The Rainbow Warriors had to settle for a field goal after Dwight Carter was ruled out of bounds on a pass to back end zone and Oregon State declined a pass- interference penalty to force fourth down.
Hannum kicked a 35-yarder with 2:58 to play to close out the scoring for Hawaii. Ken Simonton's 13-yard run with 1:27 to play made it 23-17. Oregon State recovered the onsides kick, but was called for a false start and its second onsides attempt rolled out of bounds, allowing Hawaii to run out the clock.
Avion Weaver rushed 18 times for 84 yards for Hawaii, and had five catches for 65 yards, and was voted the game's outstanding player.
After scoring on its first series of the game, Oregon State couldn't generate much offense, as Hawaii's defensive line pressured Smith all game. The Rainbow Warriors also were helped by three missed Oregon State field goals.
Robinson's first touchdown to Harris, a 9-yarder in the second quarter, gave Hawaii a 10-7 lead with 6:05 left in the second quarter.
Oregon State grabbed a 7-0 when Simonton capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard run. Simonton started the drive with a 30-yard run and had 58 yards on seven carries in the quarter. He finished with 157 yards on 18 carries.
Hawaii got on the board in the second quarter after Tuioti sacked Smith, forced a fumble and recovered it at the Beavers 24. The Rainbow Warriors couldn't advance and Hannum's 26-yard field goal made it 7-3.
The Beavers tied it on their final drive of the half, with Ryan Cesca kicking a 37-yard field goal with no time left. He earlier missed from 42 and 31 yards and had a 40-yard attempt blocked.
Hawaii receiver Attrice Brooks was kicked out of the game for kicking an Oregon State player.
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