Monday, May 24, 1999
Heads roll over ColoradoBy Jerry Campany
Special to the Star-Bulletin
An offense without Brian Ah Yat and a defense without Falinko Vitale somehow keeps getting better.
Quarterback Tim Carey threw for 114 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hawaii Hammerheads to a 57-40 Indoor Professional Football League victory over Colorado last night at Blaisdell Arena.
The win was Carey's first as a Hammerhead after playing backup to Ah Yat through the early part of the season. He stepped into the starting role when Ah Yat bolted for the Canadian Football League. Carey's 13-for-17 passing performance disappointed no one but himself.
"I probably should complete everything," Carey said. "This game is built for scoring."
Carey did score, especially after leaving the game for a play when he "didn't get down" and got smashed into the wall that lines the field. He came back to complete his next eight attempts to wrap up the win.
"He is a tough guy," Hawaii head coach Guy Benjamin said. "He was not quite all there (after the hit), but he put together a good half and showed a lot of toughness."
As good as Carey was, his defense led the team to victory. After Carey led Hawaii to a score on the opening drive of the game, Chris Paogofie and Chris Shinnick returned successive Thunder mistakes into the end zone for scores and Carey hooked up with Vitale to stake the Hammerheads to a 28-0 lead after one quarter.
Vitale, who Benjamin says is ready for the NFL, scored four touchdowns on offense after starting the season in the defensive backfield.
The Thunder closed to within 10 points with 7:35 remaining in the game before Hawaii's usual suspects conspired to bring Colorado down.
Vitale plunged into the end zone from a yard out on the next possession and Paogofie returned a fumble for a touchdown to put it out of reach at 57-34 with 1:18 left. Former Denver Bronco Mark Jackson completed the scoring for Colorado with a touchdown pass with 19 seconds left.
Colorado turned the ball over six times after committing only seven in their first five games.
"Two of the turnovers were ours," Colorado head coach Collins Sanders said. "The others were a result of their defense putting themselves into position and creating opportunities."
The Hammerheads lifted their record to 3-3 while dropping Colorado a game out of first place at 4-2. The teams will hook up again Friday at Blaisdell.
Colorado 0 18 2 20 - 40 Hawaii 28 7 2 20 - 57HAW: Falinko Vitale 6 run (Moses Ringwood kick)
HAW: Chris Paogofie 24 interception return (Ringwood kick)
HAW: Chris Shinnick 33 fumble return (Ringwood kick)
HAW: Vitale 18 pass from Tim Carey (Vitale run)
COL: Darnell Brooks 3 run (Run failed)
COL: Brooks 3 run (Pass failed)
HAW: Vitale 44 kick return (Ringwood kick good)
COL: Brooks 2 run (Pass failed)
COL: John Heffelfinger 20 field goal (2 points)
HAW: Ringwood 15 field goal (2 points)
COL: Jesse Tan 30 fumble return (Pass failed)
HAW: Zachary Odom 9 pass from Carey (Ringwood kick)
COL: Brooks 1 run (Brooks run)
HAW: Vitale 1 run (Kick failed)
HAW: Paogofie 45 fumble return (Ringwood kick)
COL: Mark Jackson 21 pass from Jason Torres (Pass failed)
Rushing - Hawaii: Vitale 11-43; Carey 5-40; Ellison 1-4; Tillis 1-0; Total 18-87. Colorado: Brooks 24-68; Jones 1-1; Torres 2-2; Jackson 3-0; Totals 30-71.
Passing - Hawaii: Carey 13-17, 114 yds, 0 int, 2 TD. Colorado: Torres 15-28, 190 yds, TD, Int.
Receiving - Hawaii: Vitale 5-49; Odom 4-42; Mims 4-23; Totals: 13-114. Colorado: Jones 8-129; Jackson 3-35; Spence 2-16; Brooks 1-7; Torres 1-3; Totals 15-190.