East safety James Griffin of Virginia Tech knocked down a pass intended for West receiver Chad Owens of Hawaii.

Spartan spoils

Ronald Stanley scores two TDs on
defense in Hawaii QB Tim Chang’s
last college game

WAILUKU » Ronald Stanley ended his Michigan State football career last month with terrible memories of Hawaii.

But the linebacker found paradise -- and the end zone twice -- yesterday at the Hula Bowl Maui, leading the East to a 20-13 victory over the West at War Memorial Stadium. It helped erase the hurt of MSU's season-ending loss to UH at Aloha Stadium in December.

"This definitely makes up for it. The Spartans had some bad breaks the last time we were here," said Stanley, who was named East and Defensive MVP after returning both an interception and a fumble for touchdowns in a span of 2:25 yesterday. "After that game (against UH) it was hard to take, because we played very tough, but we felt like the refs took it away from us. This was definitely a lot more fun."

The East victory, in front of a crowd of around 8,000, came at the expense of a squad that was definitely the home team, as former Hawaii high school standouts Tim Chang, Aaron Francisco, Lui Fuga, Chris Kemoe'atu, Uriah Moenoa and Chad Owens all played for the West.

"I don't know if we fed off that or not. We didn't talk about it," East coach Frank Solich said. "But it was obvious it'd be a huge crowd for them. I do know that our guys wanted to play well. I credit them for the way they reacted all week."

The sloppy game featured nine turnovers, five by the East and four by the West. But the East made better use of its opportunities.

Stanley gave the East the lead it would not relinquish, 7-6, when Penn State linebacker Derek Wake knocked the ball out of quarterback Chang's hand. Most of the players on the field stopped, assuming it was an incomplete pass. But Stanley didn't; he picked up the ball at the West 38 and sprinted into the end zone at 8:01 of the third quarter.

"The big thing for us was just to come out and make plays," said Wake, who also recovered a fumble that led to a score. "We're limited in what we can do by the rules, no blitz, but keeping it simple allowed us to just play our game. We wanted to show defense wins games, even all-star games."

Just four plays later, Stanley intercepted a pass by Texas Tech's Sonny Cumbie at midfield and ran it back for another score and a 13-6 lead.

"(Stanley) made a lot of big plays," Solich said. "His ability showed during the course of the week."

Stanley, who finished with five tackles, also broke up a pass.

Madison Hedgecock (North Carolina) expanded the East lead to 20-6 late in the third quarter with a 2-yard run. The score was set up by Wake's fumble recovery on the West 42, and DeWhitt Betterson's (Troy) 39-yard run on a fake reverse.

West quarterback Tim Chang of UH threw and incomplete pass under pressure in the first quarter yesterday.

Derrick Wimbush of Fort Valley State ended the East's 20-point streak with a 59-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter. His scintillating cutback effort broke the Hula Bowl record for longest touchdown run, which was held by New Mexico's Winslow Oliver (53 yards in 1996).

The West's best chance to tie the game was provided by a fumble recovery by Adrian Awasom (North Texas) at his own 48 with 10:26 left. Quarterback Dustin Long (Sam Houston State) led a drive to the East 11, but Dovonte Edwards of North Carolina State intercepted a pass in the end zone.

Kicker Matt Payne of BYU provided the only scoring in a first half that ended with the West leading 6-0. Payne knocked in two 46-yard field goals against the wind.

The game started with Harvard quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick engineering a 75-yard drive that ended with him fumbling at the West 1. The ball was picked up by Phillip Geiggar of Texas, who ran down the field and tossed it to Fresno State's Therrian Fontenot near the 50. Fontenot took the ball the rest of the way for an apparent touchdown. But it was ruled that Geiggar had thrown a forward lateral to Fontenot, and the play was called back. The West ended up punting after Chang could get nothing going from his own 20.

"I felt turnovers really determined the course of the game," West coach Mike Bellotti of Oregon said. "I questioned the lateral call."

Chang also questioned the call that led to Stanley's first touchdown, motioning to the referee that his arm was in forward motion, and the play should've been ruled an incomplete pass.

Chang, the NCAA career passing-yardage record holder, completed three of eight passes for 38 yards and no touchdowns and no interceptions. Cumbie and Long didn't fare much better, and fans chanted "We want Chang" late in the fourth quarter. But Chang remained on the sideline, with ice on his right foot. He said someone stepped on him and he didn't expect to miss much training for next month's NFL combine.

"The (East) played well, that's about all you can say about the game," said Chang, who was sacked twice for 9 yards.

Wimbush, who carried four times for 74 yards, was named the West MVP. Betterson, who was game-high with 77 yards on 10 rushes, was Offensive MVP.

Hula Bowl standouts, from left, DeWhitt Betterson of Troy, Chad Owens of Hawaii, Derrick Wimbush of Fort Valley State and Ronald Stanley of Michigan State.

Bowl official ups odds
of game staying
on Maui

WAILUKU » Gloria Gaynor sang her '70's hit "I Will Survive" at halftime yesterday. And the chairman of the company that owns the Hula Bowl Maui said he expects the college all-star game will survive on the Valley Isle.

Kenny Hansmire said he was pleased after yesterday's game, even though a crowd of only around 8,000 left many empty patches at War Memorial Stadium and attendance is key to the game's future here.

Hansmire, who said last week he is "90 percent" sure the game will remain in Maui in 2006, upped that to 95 percent after the East's 20-13 victory over the West.

Hula Bowl officials announced attendance at 12,122 (tickets distributed). The ESPN2 live blackout for Maui was lifted yesterday morning.

The 2003 and 2004 Hula Bowls lost a combined $400,000. But Hansmire said he expects a five-year, $2.5 million sponsorship deal with America's Credit Unions will help make the game solvent.

Owens plays: West receiver Chad Owens of Hawaii caught three passes for 16 yards and rushed once for minus-1 yard. The closest thing to a big play for him was when he returned a kickoff for 33 yards.

"It was fun," said Owens, who thought about not playing because of sore ribs and a tweaked ankle. "But the best is yet to come, I get to go home and see my family."

Owens had spent the previous three weeks training in Arizona and at the East-West Shrine Game in San Francisco. It was his longest time away from home.

After yesterday's game, he was officially bestowed with the Mosi Tatupu Award, given to the nation's top senior special-teams player.

UH quarterback Tim Chang did not have a good game, but remained smiling after his last college game in Hawaii.

"My practices were good, so I'll try to build off of that," said Chang, who said he will work out in Indianapolis and New Orleans in preparation for next month's NFL combine and UH's pro workout.

BYU safety Aaron Francisco (Kahuku) made six tackles, tying him for West team high with TCU linebacker Martin Patterson. Francisco will prepare for the combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

UH defensive tackle Lui Fuga (Waipahu) played, but did not make a tackle. Fuga said he will return to school and work at his job on Oahu as a youth counselor and await opportunities. He said he might work out at a facility in Utah.

Offensive linemen Uriah Moenoa (UH/Iolani) and Chris Kemoe'atu (Utah/Kahuku) also played for the West.

Hawaii 2-0: Florida Atlantic's Chris Laskowski and Jared Allen began and ended their seasons with wins in the 50th State.

The Owls beat Hawaii to open their season at Aloha Stadium. Yesterday, Laskowski was in on a game-high seven tackles. Quarterback Allen wasn't as productive, throwing interceptions to Byron Jones (Texas A&M) and Jerry Matson (Oregon).

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