Cole McDonald

Junior quarterback Cole McDonald prepares to catch a snap from the offensive line. 

Spring football came to a close for the University of Hawaiʻi football team on Saturday night. In the “highest scoring game in football history”, offensive coordinator Brian Smith’s Team Mauka prevailed over defensive coordinator Corey Batoon’s Team Makai 11.1 million to 9.2 million (actually just 16-8).

Mauka got the ball first after junior offensive lineman Gene Pryor bested team Makai’s Jonah Laulu in a pregame dance-off.

Lead by redshirt junior quarterback Cole McDonald, Mauka marched down the field with some long connections between McDonald and senior receiver Jason-Matthew Sharsh. Makai’s defense tightened up near the goal line, forcing an incompletion and drawing a penalty on a would-be Mauka touchdown. The third time proved to be the charm though, as Mauka took the first points of the game on a 20-yard touchdown from McDonald to Sharsh. The team then converted a 2-point conversion on senior receiver Cedric Byrd’s reception.

Trailing by one score, freshman quarterback Chevan Cordeiro stepped out to lead team Makai. The team moved easily down the field, led by some nice runs from redshirt senior Dayton Furuta and a long completion from Cordeiro to sophomore receiver James Phillips. Cordeiro later scored on a 25-yard quarterback keeper to cut the deficit down to two. Needing a 2-point conversion to even up the score, Batoon dialed up a trick play as Cordeiro completed a 10-yard pass to redshirt junior offensive lineman Ernest Moore to tie the game.

Mauka pulled away on their next possession. McDonald again led the team down the field, including a 50-yard completion to senior receiver Jojo Ward. A few plays later, McDonald again found Sharsh for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Mauka converted the 2-point conversion with another Byrd reception. 

After the Mauka touchdown, both defensive units began to tighten up. Makai was held to a turnover on downs, but their defense negated the play by picking off McDonald a few plays later. On the last possession of the half, Cordeiro drove Makai down the field, but Team Mauka came up huge with three consecutive sacks to halt the drive in its tracks.

The strong defensive performance continued in the second half. With Cordeiro now leading Mauka and redshirt sophomore Justin Uahinui leading Makai, both offenses failed to score in the half. Each defense racked up tackles for loss and sacks to keep the score the same.

McDonald finished the game with an efficient 13-18 with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Cordeiro finished 12-24 with one rushing touchdown. Uahinui finished the game 7-15.

The 2019 ‘Bows season kicks off on Aug. 24 against Arizona at the Aloha Stadium.