Short snaps: UH vs. Navy


POSTED: Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scouts honored after win

Hawaii linebacker Blaze Soares was the Warrior in the spotlight at the end of last night's game won by Hawaii over Navy 24-17.

But after making the game-sealing sack as time expired, Soares was quick to share the credit with those players who toil in the shadows.

“;I have to thank our scout players,”; Soares said. “;They simulated their offense just like how we saw it in the game. It was an unbelievable thing. They don't really get credit, but if it wasn't for them making us be responsible for our technique, we wouldn't have gotten this win.”;

With one week to prepare for Navy's spread option, the Warriors held Navy to 248 rushing yards, almost 35 yards under its average coming into the game.


Taylor makes most of muffed kick

Kickoff returner Jovonte Taylor quickly atoned for a mistake.

He muffed a Navy kick at the Hawaii 1-yard line with a minute to play in the first half and UH down 17-10. But he recovered the ball, bolted straight ahead and made a nice cut to the left, advancing the Warriors to the Navy 44 on a career-long 55-yard return.

“;I took my eyes off it for a quick second, that's why I muffed it,”; Taylor said. “;But I picked it up, made something out of nothing. I reversed field, and hey, I was out the gate. It was a big play for us, in a critical situation at that.”;

UH made good on the excellent field position with a key drive to tie it up 17-all at halftime. Overall, Taylor had four returns for 119 yards.


Big crowd boost for Warriors

The turnstile crowd of last night's game was 36,834—the largest of the season. A total of 40,643 tickets were distributed. Coach Greg McMackin and Hawaii players said it was a huge boost.

The Navy offense was forced to use a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty.

“;Coming into the stadium and hearing that big roar,”; Soares said. “;That's what we live for.”;


Homecoming not much fun for Santiago

Coming home was a mixed bag for former Kapolei slotback Aaron Santiago.

The fleet-footed Navy A-back saw action on kickoff and punt coverage in the loss to Hawaii. The sophomore is the latest in a line of local athletes—currently, there are five island players at the Academy—who have played under former Navy coach Paul Johnson and current head coach Ken Niumatalolo.

“;In high school, we kind of ran the same offense, but (at Navy), the speed of the game is quicker and the expectations are different. If your timing is off by one step, you can ruin a whole play,”; he said.

Santiago is still a Warriors fan, though the ultimate would've been a win over UH.

“;Growing up in the islands, you're rooting for Hawaii. I still root for them except when we play them. They know to play very hard and they showed it today,”; he said.

The sophomore hopes to crack the rotation next season.

“;We've got a lot of talent at A-back. We lose two A-backs next year. I hope I can fill one of their positions.”;

Other island players on the Navy roster are wide receivers Bruce Andrews (Kalaheo) and Matt Shibata (Pac-Five/Mid-Pacific), fullback Cyril Ontai (Kapolei) and center Kahikolu Pescaia (Kamehameha).