H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Monday, January 25, 1999

Hula Bowl Notebook

McAlister wanted
big finish

WAILUKU -- It wasn't supposed to end this way, but South teammates Michael Bishop and Chris McAlister figured nobody would mind.

With the clock winding down and the South in complete control, Washington State head coach Mike Price wanted Bishop to take a knee and run out the final seconds of the 53rd annual Hooters Hula Bowl.

"But we decided to have a little fun," said McAlister, who made a name for himself at Arizona as being the best cover cornerback in college football. I convinced Michael to throw one deep for me.

"I've been trying all week to get the coaches to let me play on offense. I just ran an out-and-up, and Michael put the ball right there. I almost got it, but it slipped through my fingers."

Bishop already had thrown two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to help the South to a 34-14 win. But one more would have been a nice hat trick to take back with him to Manhattan, Kan.

"We weren't trying to run up the score," Bishop said. "I just wanted Chris to get a chance to score on offense on the last play of our college careers. I put the ball up, but their (North) guys did a nice job defending on the play."

HAWAII CONNECTION: The three biggest smiles on the field didn't belong to any of the most valuable player winners. Those were found on the faces of Hawaii players Stephen Gonzales, Mark Mollner and Ben Bright.

"I hadn't won a game in so long, I forgot what it was like," said Gonzales, who finished tied for second in tackles with three. "Mark, Ben and I decided to dedicate this to the Rainbow football team. No way we should have finished 0-12."

Bright was equally pleased with the results of the game. A half-hour after most players from the South were showered and shaved, Bright trudged up to the locker room.

"I've been trying to get off the field, but I couldn't because of all my family and friends," Bright said. "They're happy for me because we finally won a game. I feel so good."

Like Gonzales, Bright thought he played well. He finished with two tackles and should have been credited with a half-sack, but it didn't work out that way.

"I was so close to getting a couple of sacks," Bright said. "But hey, I thought I played well and had a good week of practice. All I can do now is wait and see what happens."

ALVAREZ, FULMER TO COACH: American Football Coaches Association executive director Grant Teaff told the Star-Bulletin that next year's coaches would be Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer and Wisconsin's Barry Alvarez.

"Both of those coaches are very deserving of the selection," Teaff said. "Coach Fulmer won the national championship and Coach Alvarez won the Rose Bowl. You can't do much better than that."

The AFCA will continue its partnership with the Hula Bowl into the next millennium. Bowl Games of Hawaii chief executive officer Lenny Klompus also said that Hooters may wind up renewing its sponsorship after all.

"A month ago, I would have said this was the last year for Hooters," Klompus said. "But after meeting with them and Coach Teaff, I'm not so sure now. We'll know more in a month."

MVPs APLENTY: Texas running back Ricky Williams was the most valuable player for the South. UC-Davis quarterback Kevin Daft took home that honor for the North. And Penn State defensive end Brad Scioli of the North was named the top defensive player.

"I never came here thinking I would win the MVP," Scioli said. "This was just kind of a fun thing and a chance to show the NFL scouts that I can play at the next level. Maybe I did that today."

Scioli, who North head coach Lloyd Carr said was the best defensive player in the Big Ten, finished with three quarterback sacks and five tackles overall.

Daft was 8 of 17 for 116 yards and one touchdown. Williams carried the ball 22 times for 114 yards and two scores.

"It's great to win the MVP," Daft said. "I look at what Charlie Batch did here last year and now he's the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions. Maybe I can make a name for myself if given the chance. It was great competing against Division I players all week in practice."

Williams also was happy about winning the MVP, "It's a great way to end my career."

But as Teaff put it, "Ricky's an MVP for just playing in this game. He couldn't improve himself one inch in the draft and could only hurt himself by being injured. He's the kind of player we want for this game."

By Paul Arnett

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