Sports Notebook


Hawaii safety Leonard Peters came up with an interception of a Brett Basanez pass late in the fourth quarter to seal the Warriors' victory.

Peters picks a win
out of the air

He might get an argument from the Northwestern contingent, but at least as far as Leonard Peters is concerned he caught the ball.

Peters was credited with a diving interception of a Brett Basanez pass at the Hawaii 11 with 1:06 left, ending Northwestern's hopes of a dramatic comeback as UH held on for a 49-41 win last night at Aloha Stadium.

"I caught the ball," Peters said. "It's up to the officials. It's not the NFL, where you can throw the red flag. I caught it."

Of course, when Peters went to the turf to try to cradle the ball, folks on the Wildcat sideline saw different.

"I hate to see it end that way," Northwestern coach Randy Walker said.

A Hawaii defense that gave up 41 points and 422 yards came up with just enough stops to preserve the win.

Northwestern took over with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter at its own 20 after a missed field goal and drove deep into UH territory.

It was reminiscent of the drive that sent UH's season opener against Florida Atlantic into overtime. And the Warrior defense didn't want to see a repeat of its 35-28 loss back in September -- especially not against a Northwestern team 3-1 in overtime games this season.

"That was the last thing that was on our minds," UH linebacker Watson Ho'ohuli said. "We didn't want another overtime. So we figured, buckle it up and that one play, everyone give it their all."

"Everybody was just screaming," Peters said. "It's nothing you can explain, you just have to be in that uniform."

Still a load: Big Ten teams are used to facing big backs. If any team would be the one to neutralize Hawaii's West Keli'ikipi, you would think it would be one that faces bruisers every week.

But Keli'ikipi -- officially listed on the UH roster at 280 pounds -- still clocked in with 43 yards and 4.8 yards a carry. And he still carried defenders, slamming past a sampling of Wildcats on the way to a second quarter touchdown that several Hawaii teammates told him helped swing momentum.

"I thought I was going to get stopped," Keli'ikipi said. "But my job is just to run over guys and get into the end zone, and that's what I did."

Keli'ikipi would later add another touchdown run in the third quarter that, with the point-after, would put Hawaii up 42-27.

He also carried four times for 14 yards on a crucial fourth-quarter drive.

"Beating a (Big Ten) team is unbelievable," Keli'ikipi said.

Last call?: Last night's was the final football game under the current television contract between UH and KFVE (Channel 5). (Next Saturday's season finale against Michigan State was picked up by ESPN2).

Oceanic Cable (Channel 16) is expected to put in a strong bid for at least a share of a new deal to televise UH sports. That leaves uncertainty for the future of veteran play-by-play man Jim Leahey and second-year color analyst Doug Vaioleti, as well as off-camera crew members.

Leahey has done UH football games for KFVE or KHNL the past 21 years.

UH's radio arrangement with KKEA-1420 also comes up for bid after this year.

Second best: The last two games, the Warriors offense seemingly took a quarter to warm up before catching fire in the second period.

UH scored 28 second-quarter points for the second straight week to seize the momentum going into halftime, outscoring Idaho and Northwestern 56-14 in those periods.

Hawaii trailed 14-10 after one quarter last week against Idaho before Tim Chang threw four touchdown passes in the second en route to a 52-21 UH win.

The Warriors fell behind 13-0 in the first quarter last night and Chang fired three more TD passes, all to Chad Owens, and guided the team on a 57-yard drive that ended with Keli'ikipi's punishing 6-yard touchdown run.

Chang completed 10 of 15 passes for 210 yards in the period.


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