The Black team proved it was hungrier, beating the Green 24-20 in the Warrior Bowl last night at Aloha Stadium, capping Hawaii spring football practice.
"We get to eat steak, they get hot dogs," said Inoke Funaki, quarterback of the Black team, describing the pregame wager.
Funaki threw two first-half touchdown passes and Jake Heun got the decisive points on a 3-yard shovel pass from Shane Austin with 5 minutes and 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Offensive coordinator Ron Lee coached the winning team against his brother, defensive coordinator Cal Lee. Ron Lee said the rules may have played to his expertise.
"The defenses made it kind of easy on us," Ron Lee said.
"They didn't blitz and were playing base."
Funaki also rushed twice for 45 yards.
Green quarterback Tyler Graunke completed 10 of 14 passes for 108 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown pass to Mike Washington and an interception by Kenny Estes.
A crowd of close to 10,000 got in free and watched the first UH spring football game since the turn of the millenium.
"It's amazing how that affects players," said head coach Greg McMackin, a neutral observer last night. "When we come home from Florida (after the Aug. 30 season opener), it's important we have 50,000 people here. The players play for the fans."
It was a game that was the first of its kind, or at least the first in a long time at Aloha Stadium.
Black 24, Green 20
BLK--Lane 27 pass from Funaki (Kelly kick), 9:12
BLK--Kelly FG 26, 11:29
GRN--Washington 8 pass from Graunke (Kelly kick), 5:26
BLK--Lofton 6 pass from Funaki (Kelly kick), 0:00
GRN--Carmona 2 run (Kelly kick), 0:00
BLK--Heun 3 pass from Austin (Kelly kick), 9:45
GRN--Kia 13 pass from Kalauokaaea (Kelly kick failed), 5:25
But last night's Warrior Bowl, won 24-20 by the Black squad, brought back sweet and sour memories to at least two of the key participants.
In the here and now of it, junior quarterback Inoke Funaki upped his stock in the competition to be the starter for UH.
The historical part is that he did it by beating a defense coached by the same man who led the opposition nearly eight years ago during Funaki's brightest athletic moment.
In 2000, Funaki quarterbacked Kahuku past Saint Louis 26-20 in a landmark game that ended the Crusaders' stranglehold on Hawaii high school football's championship hardware.
The opposing coach?
Current UH defensive coordinator Cal Lee, who coached the Green team last night.
"I always remember him in that game," Lee said. "How can I not remember? He killed me."
"Good memories for me," Funaki said.
After senior season at Kahuku, two years on a religious mission and three more years on the UH bench, Funaki is on the cusp of creating memories at Aloha Stadium again. The 10,000 on hand last night may have gotten a preview.
Granted, Cal Lee's defense would've been harder to beat last night with linebackers Adam Leonard and Blaze Soares in the game and blitzing and sacking allowed. But Funaki displayed the skills that made June Jones recruit him all those years ago -- and then some.
"He's a threat, but you can't touch him, so you don't have anybody on him," Lee said. "But he looks like he hasn't missed a beat (running the ball). Man, he looked good taking off. He still runs as good as I've seen him and now he's more polished (as a passer)."
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Koa Aiwohi, 13, posed as his mom, Natalie Brown-Aiwohi, snapped a photo of him with new UH head coach Greg McMackin before yesterday's game.
Funaki completed 12 of 18 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns and rushed twice for 45 yards. He also had a beautifully placed bomb dropped by Malcolm Lane.
"I like what Funaki has done. He had a good spring," said offensive coordinator Ron Lee, who coached the Black team, when asked if he'd pulled ahead of Tyler Graunke. "But there's a lot of time. We're not there yet."
Graunke completed 10 of 14 for 108 yards with a touchdown, but was intercepted once.
Ron Lee and Funaki both admitted he missed a couple of reads last night.
"There's some good positive things I know I did. Unfortunately, the ones that stick in my head are the errors that I made. Hopefully I can just work to try to improve it," Funaki said.
The defense was ahead of the offense most of April in practice, but the offenses combined for 44 points and 447 yards in a running time game last night.
Cal Lee isn't too concerned, especially considering many of the top defensive players made token appearances, if they played at all.
"My goal was making sure everyone comes out healthy and they did. Hawaii won, that's the main thing," Cal Lee said. "When you put it all together, the guys that can play together, you've got a pretty good group I'd face anybody with."