RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii cornerback Myron Newberry ran for 49 yards after intercepting Louisiana Tech quarterback Zac Champion in the third quarter, setting up a Reagan Mauia touchdown that gave UH a 54-10 lead.
Corners take their picks
Hawaii's tandem of Texas-bred cornerbacks aren't the most imposing players on the field, but Gerard Lewis and Myron Newberry played big roles in the Warriors' blowout of Louisiana Tech last night at Aloha Stadium.
Lewis (5-foot-9) and Newberry (5-8), both junior-college transfers, came up with interceptions in the third quarter to set up Warrior touchdowns as Hawaii scored 28 points in the period en route to a 61-17 victory.
"Those guys are small in height but big in character," Hawaii defensive backs coach Rich Miano said.
After Louisiana Tech took a 10-9 lead on the first play of the second quarter, the Warriors forced four punts, and the two interceptions helped break the game open.
"I was due for an interception," Newberry said. "I hadn't had one in three games, and he had to step up and make a play. We were talking all week saying we were going to make big plays this week."
After UH opened up a 33-10 lead on the opening drive of the second half, Lewis picked off a pass from Zac Champion and returned it 33 yards down the sideline to the LaTech 19. The offense capitalized with a touchdown pass from Colt Brennan to Davone Bess on the next play.
"As a defense we didn't have any turnovers in the first half and we knew we had to get some in the second half," Lewis said.
Newberry intercepted his second pass of the season later in the quarter and raced 49 yards along the UH sideline to the Bulldogs 18. Reagan Mauia bulled into the end zone three plays later to give UH a 54-10 lead.
"I just read the quarterback the whole way, I saw him coming and I just broke on the ball," Newberry said.
Newberry has stabilized the right side since Kenny Patton suffered an injury against Fresno State. He had three tackles and also had a 25-yard punt return.
"That's what I was waiting on, to get my chance, and I was going to hold my own," Newberry said.
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii cornerback Gerard Lewis upended Louisiana Tech running back Daniel Porter.
Lewis, meanwhile, started two games on the left side before losing his spot against Idaho. He regained the starting job in practice last week and contributed four tackles.
"You have to come to work every day, you can't take no days off," Lewis said. "It can change in a second."
Kicking woes: One of the Warriors' few weak spots last night was kickoffs. Dan Kelly kicked three out of bounds in a row, giving the Bulldogs the ball at their own 35. He was replaced by punter Kurt Milne, who handled the last three kickoffs.
Also, Briton Forester missed the first extra-point try.
Peters plays: Senior safety Leonard Peters started at free safety last night despite questions over a knee injury during the week.
He finished with four tackles and broke up a pass.
"I just wanted to go out and play with the team," Peters said. "I only got four more games to play with this bunch of guys. So I just went out and played."
No fumble: Louisiana Tech players thought they secured a turnover late in the first half after Brennan scrambled and apparently fumbled deep in Bulldogs territory.
A penalty flag had flown a few seconds into the play, but no whistle was blown. No whistle could be heard when Brennan was on his way down and the ball rolled onto the ground and into the hands of a LaTech player.
The Hawaii offensive players relaxed, acting as if the play were over, and just when the LaTech defender started to run, the whistle blew.
The officials called holding on UH and brought the ball back 10 yards to the 29, but Bulldogs coach Jack Bicknell yelled at the officials loud enough for them to take a look at the replay.
LaTech ball? No. UH retained possession and there was another questionable call on the next play, this time against the Warriors. Receiver Jason Rivers was pushed out of bounds on the left sideline and came back inbounds to catch an apparent TD pass. The officials, however, ruled he stayed out of bounds on his own volition too long, and Hawaii eventually kicked a field goal for a 26-10 lead as time expired in the first half.