The battle against the Rainbow Warriors in Aloha Stadium on Saturday night—technically Sunday for some — was anyone’s game until Hawaii took a major turn to widen the gap in the last quarter leaving Army behind, 52-31.
With 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Freshman QB Jemel Jones threw an interception—intended for Michael Roberts—but caught by Rojesternman Farris II, who then made a 101-yard pick six to seal the deal for the Hawaii.
Army and Hawaii went back on fourth fighting aggressively on every drive, beginning from the top of the game when Kelvin Hopkins threw a 69-yard pass to Artice Hobbs. The pair set up Sandon McCoy for an easy 7-yard run-in to the end zone giving Army the lead in just under two minutes.
After managing 8 plays and 51 years of their own, Hawaii took the field goal opportunity to put points on the board, 7-3.
A 33-yard field goal by David Cooper was an attempt to widen the lead for Army but Hawaii’s offense followed immediately, eating up 56 yards on only two plays to even the score, 10-10.
The Rainbow Warriors kept the Black Knights on their toes all evening. QB Cole McDonald passed for 250 yards with fourth different Hawaii receivers netting a touchdown of their own, including two—Jared Smart and Cedric Bird III—who totaled over 100 receiving yards.
Army took another opportunity at the top of the second quarter to create space for themselves with Sandon McCoy fighting through the Rainbow Warriors defense to gain 40 yards into the end zone. McCoy then carried the ball for 7-yard TD run to bring up the Black Knights 17-10. He totaled two scores on the ground and a career-high of 91 rushing yards during the late-night game.
The second quarter also saw some movement in the quarterback room with Christian Anderson coming in to take over for Hopkins. With Jabari Laws out this game from an injury during the VMI matchup, Anderson found his rhythm in the second half and totaled a career-high of 114 rushing yards.
Hawaii decided to turn up the gears in the third quarter, finding the end zone early-on and capitalizing off their double digit lead, 31-17. But the Rainbow Warriors could only celebrate for so long, an formidable 30-yard TD run by Connor Slomka made it seem as though victory was back in reach for the Black Knights, 31-24.
For every play by Army, Hawaii seemed to have an answer. By the fourth quarter the Rainbow Warriors established ball control with yet another touchdown from a 20-yard pass. Coupled with an unfortunate turnover by Army in the last minute, the Black Knights fate was sealed.
Now, Army looks ahead to the culmination of the season with the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Dec. 14 at 3 pm.