Weber State’s Higgins shines in first half
The Saint Louis graduate gives Hawaii a scare before the Warriors take control
For at least a half, Cameron Higgins had Hawaii fans wondering how he got away.
Weber State put a scare into Hawaii, leading by as many as 10 before succumbing to Tyler Graunke's aerial assault in a 36-17 loss.
But Higgins, a 2006 Saint Louis graduate, more than held his own against the Warriors, completing 24 of 40 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown in his first appearance at Aloha Stadium in three years.
"It was an adrenaline rush just to get back out here, said the sophomore quarterback, whose last meaningful game in Hawaii was a 14-0 loss to Punahou in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu playoff to get to the state tournament.
More than half of his passing yards came before halftime as Higgins outplayed Hawaii starter Inoke Funaki. His 3-yard touchdown pass to Trevyn Smith after a Funaki fumble gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game at 17-7 with 9 minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Higgins finished 14-for-18 for 145 yards in the half as the Wildcats maintained the 10-point lead going into the break, leaving Hawaii running off the field to a chorus of boos from the hometown crowd.
"We were catching them off guard, mixing it up, five wide, four wide, a lot of play-action here and there," Higgins said. "We were able to catch them on their toes."
The dream ended in the second half as the Warriors began to frustrate Higgins with an array of blitzes on defense. He was intercepted by Keao Monteilh on a pass deflected by Erik Robinson that led to Hawaii's go-ahead score, and finished the game completing just two of his final 10 throws, including a second interception with 7 seconds remaining.
"Their defensive coordinators made the right adjustments to stop what we were doing," Higgins said. "They were able to buckle down and shut us down."
One of 10 Wildcats with Hawaii ties, Higgins showed no signs of early-game jitters, a testament to his days at Saint Louis, according to his coach.
"He's played in real competitive situations, so he's a proven commodity," Weber State coach Ron McBride said. "He's a good player. We just have to be able to run the ball better so that the pass game can get open."