Hawaii 38, Las Vegas 21
HONOLULU (AP) _ Russell Grant caught one touchdown pass and sprinted 66 yards for an insurance score Saturday night to power Hawaii to a 38-21 victory over winless Nevada-Las Vegas.
After the Rainbows fell behind 14-7 in the first quarter, Grant, who finished the game with 144 yards on 14 carries, took a 13-yard pass from Glenn Freitas for his first score.
Then, with Hawaii (2-6 overall, 1-4 Western Athletic Conference) clinging to a 24-21 lead early in the fourth period, Grant took a handoff from Freitas, broke a tackle at the line, cut to his left and raced untouched into the end zone. It was the longest run from scrimmage for the Rainbows this season.
Hawaii then added another score on a 6-yard run by Randall Okimoto to make it 38-21.
UNLV’s Jon Denton, after failing to find a receiver, scrambled 30 yards for the game’s final score with 24 seconds left in the game.
By game’s end, the Rainbows had put together 467 yards in total offense, including 350 on the ground. Both were season-highs, but it came against the nation’s weakest defense. In the passing category, Freitas completed 11 of 18 for 117 yards.
The Rebels (0-8, 0-4) were solid at the outset, racing off to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter on three scoring passes from the freshmen combo of Denton and Len Ware. The passes went for 16, 26 and 12 yards.
Denton completed eight of 17 passes for 108 yards and the three touchdowns in the first half, but was only eight of 14 in the second for 82 yards and no scores.
Sandwiched in between the second and third UNLV scores was the Freitas to Grant hookup. A 43-yard field goal by Hawaii’s Carlton Oswalt made it 21-10 UNLV at the half.
Hawaii moved ahead in the third quarter, 24-21, on a 7-yard pass from Freitas to Paul Purdy and a 2-yard run by Carlos Shaw. Grant then ripped off his 66-yard run to give Hawaii breathing space.