Full Court Press


Sunday, September 9, 2001

Tinoisamoa answers
Jone’s challenge

WAILUKU, MAUI >> There was a lot of talk during spring and fall camp that Pisa Tinoisamoa wasn't living up to his reputation on the football field, nor taking care of business off it in the classroom.

Warriors head coach June Jones even went so far as to say over the summer that it was time for Tinoisamoa to accept the challenges of Division I football or risk losing the opportunity to pursue it in the island chain.

In last night's victory over the University of Montana, Tinoisamoa demonstrated why he was considered one of the top 100 recruiting prospects coming out of high school.

Not only did he sack Grizzlies quarterback John Edwards three times in the first half, including once on a critical Montana drive late in the second quarter, but he did a good job of controlling Yohance Humphery every time the Montana back ran in his direction.

"The defensive line should get all the credit," Tinoisamoa said. "I told everyone who would listen that I had rededicated myself to this season. I think I showed that today, but this is a team game. The other guys set me up to make the plays."

Nobody was happier to see Tinoisamoa answer the bell than defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa. As good a young player as outside linebacker Keani Alapa may be, he doesn't have the explosiveness of Tinoisamoa, especially coming off the edge.

Tinoisamoa finished with 13 tackles in helping the Warrior defense limit the Grizzlies to 397 yards as Hawaii won its first season opener under the direction of third-year coach June Jones.

"I thought overall that we did a good job," Lempa said. "We had some injuries that hurt us, but overall, everybody came in and did a great job. I was pleased with Pisa. He really stepped it up out there. He seemed a lot more confident on the outside."

Speaking of sacks

The Grizzlies managed something in the first quarter that only happened 10 times last year -- they sacked the UH quarterback.

Tim Chang dropped back into the pocket for the Warriors, only to see Montana defensive end Ciche Pitcher break free around left tackle Lui Fuata.

Chang went down in a heap, leaving offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh standing on the sidelines with his hands on his hips. No excuses were offered. Fuata got beat. Plain and simple.

"Lui just got beat," Cavanaugh said. "We'd like to never give up a sack, but that's not going to happen.

Leading them out

Maui resident Josiah Cravalho led the Warriors onto the field to start the game, much to the delight of the War Memorial Stadium crowd. The UH cornerback is a promising product for the Warriors, who could see some playing time as the season progresses.

"It felt great leading the guys out on the field," Cravalho said. "I hurt my hamstring, which was disappointing, but overall, it felt great to come back here to Maui to play in front of my family and friends."

Against the wind

The brisk tradewinds played a key part in last night's nonconference game. In the first half, all 26 points were scored with the breeze at the players' backs. Hawaii almost had a touchdown into the wind, but Chang's pass to Ashley Lelie was held up by the gusty trades. Beaten Montana cornerback Johnnie Peeples was able to catch up to Lelie and pick off the badly underthrown pass.

Late in the second quarter, Montana's Chris Snyder missed a chip-shot field goal. The 27-yard attempt got into the breeze and was blown wide left.

Montana did score a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the wind, but needed a spectacular fourth-down play to make it work.


Altitude could pose problems in Reno

After consecutive weekends against Mountain West Conference opponents, the University of Nevada returns home this weekend to host Hawaii in a Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

Last year, the Warriors secured one of their three victories by defeating the Wolf Pack at Aloha Stadium. But this road encounter could prove difficult, especially at Reno's high altitude.

Wolf Pack quarterback David Neill returns after serving a one-game suspension for breaking team rules. But whether he squares off with Hawaii young gun Tim Chang remains to be seen.

Nevada lost this weekend at Colorado State 35-18.

Paul Arnett has been covering sports
for the Star-Bulletin since 1990.
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