UH reserves put on the hits
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For Hawaii's scout team players, contact is generally discouraged as they work against the Warrior starters during practices to help them prepare for the upcoming opponent.
So yesterday's annual Scout Bowl represented a rare chance for the redshirts and reserves to get a taste of full-speed hitting.
"It was a lot of fun, the guys were into it," UH coach June Jones said after the scrimmage, an annual highlight of the Warriors' first bye week of the season.
While previous Scout Bowl matchups were offense vs. defense, a draft was held to split the teams for this year's game. Bragging rights ultimately went to the Green -- led by the Warrior defensive seniors -- as junior running back Lorgan Pau's 3-yard plunge in an overtime period was the difference.
Although the atmosphere was light, the scrimmage was also a chance for some of the backups to leave an impression with the coaching staff.
"We'll look at the film and I'm sure we'll see some young guys who got better," Jones said.
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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Eric Shaffer's White squad teammates mobbed him after he scored a touchdown yesterday in the Scout Bowl.
In a season of unprecedented buzz surrounding Hawaii football, even a scrimmage for the Warrior scout teamers drew a crowd.
With the Warriors in the midst of a bye week, more than 200 folks got their football fix by taking in the annual Scout Bowl yesterday afternoon at the UH practice field.
For the record, the Green team rallied past the White 12-6 in overtime in a lively hour-long scrimmage for the Warrior redshirts and reserves, who spend most days simulating the upcoming opponent for the starters.
"It was all fun and games. Flying around, having fun, showing the coaches what we've got," said freshman defensive end Elliott Purcell.
In a departure from previous years, when the scrimmage pitted the offense against the defense, a draft was held to split the players. The defensive seniors led the Green team and the offensive seniors commanded the White.
Probably as entertaining as the actual scrimmage were the antics of the UH starters, who regularly stormed the field to celebrate big plays. Safety Keao Monteilh blew a conch shell in support of the Green, while defensive lineman Keala Watson performed a Vili the Warrior impersonation.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii receiver Dylan Linkner of the Green team could not come up with this pass during yesterday's Scout Bowl on the Manoa campus.
"It was a good break for us and it was good to see the young guys showcase their talents," said senior defensive lineman Mike Lafaele. "I was really excited for the defensive guys, especially the defensive linemen. I practice with them every day and I know how hard they work and they did a good job."
Although the mood was light, there was more to be gained than just bragging rights for those looking to grab the attention of the coaching staff.
"Hopefully the coaches can look at this game and see what I've got and see if I can get some playing time this year or next year," said Purcell, who was among the standouts for the Green defense with three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
The teams had three possessions each starting at the 40-yard line. With Colt Brennan calling plays, the White showed some creativity as they completed a double-pass from quarterback Shane Austin to receiver Jon Medeiros (a former Kapolei quarterback) to Eric Shaffer for a 22-yard gain. Austin, who was traded to the White just before the scrimmage, later hit Shaffer for the team's only score.
With the Green team loaded in the backfield, the I formation made an appearance perhaps for the first time since Dick Tomey was running the show.
"We had so many running backs we wanted to share the ball, and that meant pretty much running an offense that we've never really run before, like I and wishbone," said Green quarterback Jake Santos.
"We weren't really clicking at all and toward the end we got something going for us. It was just all for fun, we were all excited to play."
Santos, the first pick in the draft, led the Green to a tying touchdown on its last drive, scrambling for 22 yards on a third down and scoring on a bootleg from 2 yards out.
With the score tied, and the daylight fleeting, each team had one possession starting from the 10. Junior Lorgan Pau powered in for a 3-yard score for the Green, and the White couldn't answer, ending the game.
"It's pretty much the only fun (the scouts) get, the only live action they get the whole year," Lafaele said. "So I was trying to get them excited, try to get them into the game atmosphere and they really enjoyed it."
The 17th-ranked Warriors have the weekend off and return to practice Monday to resume preparations for the Oct. 27 game against New Mexico State at Aloha Stadium.