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Rainbow Warriors drop conference opener to San Jose State 17-13

While under pressure from the Hawaii defense, San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel throws an interception during the second half of the Spartans’ 17-13 win over the Rainbow Warriors on Saturday night at the Clarence T.C. Ching Complex. AP photos

HONOLULU (AP) — Nick Starkel threw a pair of touchdown passes about three minutes apart, and San Jose State beat the University of Hawaii football team 17-13 on Saturday night in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams.

Kairee Robinson blocked a punt to set up a seven-play, 44-yard drive culminating when Starkel hit Isaiah Hamilton for a 13-yard score and, after a Hawaii three-and-out, he connected with Jermaine Braddock on a 1-yard TD with 2:23 left in the first half to give San Jose State the lead for good at 14-7.

SJSU (2-1), which retained the Dick Tomey Legacy Trophy, has won nine conference games dating to a 38-35 loss to UNLV on November 23, 2019.

UH’s Calvin Turner scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to open the scoring late in the first quarter and Matthew Shipley made field goals of 25 and 23 yards in the third quarter for the Rainbow Warriors (1-3).

Matt Mercurio kicked a 26-yard field goal to cap the scoring with 1:19 to play. Turner returned the kickoff to the Hawaii 36, and the Rainbow Warriors moved to the SJSU 21 before time expired.

Hawaii kicker Matthew Shipley makes a field goal in the third quarter Saturday.

San Jose State’s Kyle Harmon was ejected after he was flagged for targeting early in the fourth quarter. The senior linebacker, an all-MWC selection last season, finished with nine tackles, five solo.

Robinson finished with 21 carries for 55 yards and three receptions for 34 yards.

Chevan Cordeiro completed 18 of 39 passes for 242 yards and added 39 yards rushing for Hawaii, which went just 4 for 18 on third-down conversions.

The Rainbow Warriors head back on the road to take on former Western Athletic Conference foe New Mexico State next Saturday.

San Jose St. 0 14 0 3–17

Hawaii 7 0 6 0–13

First Quarter

HAW–C.Turner 1 run (Shipley kick), 3:29.

Second Quarter

SJSU–Hamilton 13 pass from Starkel (Mercurio kick), 5:26.

SJSU–Braddock 1 pass from Starkel (Mercurio kick), 2:23.

Third Quarter

HAW–FG Shipley 25, 8:05.

HAW–FG Shipley 23, 3:29.

Fourth Quarter

SJSU–FG Mercurio 26, 1:19.

SJSU HAW

First downs 15 16

Total Net Yards 291 369

Rushes-yards 26-56 37-127

Passing 235 242

Punt Returns 4-38 1-1

Kickoff Returns 2-51 2-48

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 1-0

Comp-Att-Int 23-51-1 18-39-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-12 2-12

Punts 11-44.455 11-40.727

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1

Penalties-Yards 5-47 3-33

Time of Possession 28:01 31:49

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–San Jose St., Robinson 21-55, Garrett 3-13, Starkel 2-(minus 12). Hawaii, Hunter 15-51, Cordeiro 10-39, Parson 5-21, C.Turner 7-16.

PASSING–San Jose St., Starkel 23-50-1-235, Nash 0-1-0-0. Hawaii, Cordeiro 18-39-0-242.

RECEIVING–San Jose St., Hamilton 4-37, Ross 4-27, Garrett 4-14, Braddock 3-39, Robinson 3-34, Mazotti 2-59, Nash 2-18, Deese 1-7. Hawaii, Mardner 5-97, C.Turner 4-56, Panoke 3-27, Hunter 2-33, Cephus 2-17, Smart 2-12.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–Hawaii, Shipley 48.

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