Hawaii Warriors' Run Defense Made Perfect Play at Perfect Time to Beat Army

Heneli IongiAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2010

HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 02: Vili Fehoko, the University of Hawaii Mascot cheers as the University of Hawaii Warriors prepare to take the field in their season opener at Aloha Stadium September 2, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

The Hawaii Warriors had traveled over 5,000 miles from the islands of Hawaii to play against the Army Black Knights of West Point Academy.

It was one of those games that had two complete opposite teams that featured opposite offensive philosophies on how to attack the opposing team.  

On one side, you had the Warriors of Hawaii that pass the ball at will in the Run & Shoot offense, which relies on the ability to move the ball through the air and score quickly.

On the other side, you had the Army Black Knights of West Point Academy that run the ball at will in a triple option offense, which relies on the ability of quicker players that can run the ball in a variety of dynamic ways, always moving the ball forward and controlling the clock.

What made this interesting was the fact that the opposing defenses were facing offenses that move the ball against the weak parts of each team's defense. The Warriors defense is weak against the run, where the Black Knights excel. The Black Knights defense is weak against the pass, and Hawaii is probably one of the most elite passing teams out there.

An interesting matchup turned out to be a very interesting game in the end.

The Warriors were able to move the ball at will against the Black Knights defense, as they were forced to put inexperienced players in the game against the four-WR attack of the Warriors' offensive setup. What was surprising was that the Warriors run defense showed up, as they limited the Black Knights on the ground in the first half to less than 40 yards rushing.

The score before the half was 21-7 Hawaii.

Then came the second half, and this was the scariest part of the game, where the Black Knights came out with the running game in which they controlled the ball for most of the second half, leaving the Warrior offense off the field.

After the Black Knights scored, the score then became 21-14 Hawaii. The Warriors got it, I thought.

The Black Knights kicked off the ball to the Warriors, and then out of nowhere, the Warriors fumbled the ball, and the Black Knights recovered it. The Black Knights then proceeded to kill some more time until they scored again.

Now we're in a tie ball game, 21-21.  

Now I started getting worried. The Warriors didn't fumble on special teams this time; QB Bryant Moniz fumbled off a sack by the Black Knights' top sacking specialist Josh McNary, who had multiple sacks for the game. The Black Knights scored again after killing some more time.

Now the Warriors are down 28-21 to the Black Knights. What the hell just happened, I thought?

The Warriors got the ball and moved it down the field with some good runs by Alex Green and some great throws by Moniz, where the Warriors capitalized with a score by Green on the ground.

The score was tied up again at 28-28.

With less than four minutes in the game, I knew what was coming already. The Black Knights were going to run the ball and get into field goal range. As the game came towards the end with 29 seconds left on the clock on Hawaii's 30-yard line, I believe, the Knights were going to run the ball just one last time to get closer and to the middle of the field for a easy FG for their kicker.

Then the unbelievable happened. The Warriors run defense that never showed up during the second half of the game came up with the biggest play of the evening. Defensive lineman Kamalu Umu came up with a big forced fumble as the Warriors had 24 seconds left in the game from the Warriors' 27-yard line to go for the win.

With no timeouts, Moniz threw a couple of big passes where the Warriors receivers came up big, and with less than 10 seconds left on the clock, the Warriors didn't take any chances as they went for the FG on their second down after spiking the ball. Kicker Scott Enos made the kick as the Warriors came away with a HUGE win.

As I watched the game, I came away with such excitement that the Warriors were able to pull a tough away game win against a formidable foe. The Warriors still have a lot to work on as I look forward to the boys from the islands continuing their winning ways. GO WARRIORS!!!

Thank God that the cable in the mainland allows me to watch the Warriors play, unlike the terrible Oceanic Cable back in Hawaii that doesn't even show any of the home games either unless you order it.