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McDonald, Davis help UH rally for victory over UNLV

Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald carries the ball past UNLV’s Nate Neal (left) and Gabe McCoy in the second half Saturday. Las Vegas Sun via AP / Steve Marcus photos

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cole McDonald came off the bench and ran for two touchdowns, and Cortez Davis picked off a pass and returned it 43 yards for the go-ahead score as the University of Hawaii football team rallied for a 21-7 victory over UNLV on Saturday.

With the win, the Rainbow Warriors (7-4, 4-3 Mountain West Conference) became bowl eligible and put themselves in position to vie for its first MW West Division title.

Kenyon Oblad’s 31-yard scoring strike to Darren Woods Jr. gave UNLV a 7-0 lead after one quarter.

McDonald, who took over at quarterback for Chevan Cordeiro at the start of the second quarter, ended a 10-play, 90-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run with 22 seconds left before halftime to knot the score at 7.

The game remained tied until Davis picked off Oblad with 1:33 left in the third quarter for a 14-7 Rainbow Warriors (7-4, 4-3 Mountain West Conference) lead. McDonald wrapped up the victory with a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter.

Hawaii defensive back Cortez Davis intercepts a pass intended for UNLV wide receiver Randal Grimes during the second half Saturday.

McDonald completed 20 of 26 passes for 211 yards. He ran for 43 yards on 11 carries.

Oblad connected on only 10 of 22 passes for 118 yards with two picks for the Rebels (2-8, 0-6).

The win — the first for UH in Las Vegas since 2007 — set up a winner-take-all showdown for the conference’s West Division title next Saturday when the Rainbow Warriors host San Diego State (8-2, 5-2). The winner advances to the Mountain West championship game on Dec. 7.

Also on Saturday, BYU (6-4) accepted an invitation to the SoFi Hawaii Bowl, set for Dec. 24 at Aloha Stadium. The Rainbow Warriors’ participation in the game will be determined in the coming weeks after the MW playoff picture is made clearer.