LARAMIE, Wyo. — The team that flew over 5,000 miles from Honolulu to the High Plains on Thanksgiving Day showed up ready to celebrate the holiday weekend with a win.
And the Cowboys? Well, they were the turkeys.
Wyoming finished a puzzling regular season with a 6-6 record after a 38-14 Mountain West football loss to Hawaii on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
A week after dominating Mountain Division champion Utah State 44-17 on the road, Craig Bohl’s team forgot to show up for senior day.
The Warriors (6-7) led 14-0 after the first quarter, 24-0 late in the second quarter and 31-7 at the intermission after allowing a Hail Mary on the final play of the first half.
Hawaii packed the Paniolo Trophy for the long flight home after winning in Laramie for the first time since 1991.
Whatever was discussed during the break did not include meaningful halftime adjustments.
On its first two possessions of the third quarter, UW punted from the Hawaii 45-yard line and had a three-and-out.
The Warriors had a 32-yard touchdown pass negated by an ineligible man down field, and pressure by Easton Gibbs led to a Victor Jones interception in the red zone to keep the Cowboys within three scores.
Levi Williams connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Neyor to get UW within 31-14 with 1:11 left in the third quarter.
Gibbs stopped Calvin Turner in the backfield on fourth-and-1, but the Cowboys’ offense went four-and-out after Hawaii turned the ball over on downs.
Chevan Cordeiro threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to uncovered tight end Steven Fiso to make the score 38-14 with 6:27 remaining.
Sean Chambers replaced Williams at quarterback, but UW turned the ball over on downs again with 4:29 left.
After a sluggish start to the game following the introduction of the super seniors who played their final home game, UW finally showed some signs of life after a 4-yard touchdown run by Titus Swen cut the deficit to 24-7 with 1:36 remaining in the second quarter.
Bohl decided not to call a timeout before Hawaii’s third-and-14 on the ensuing drive, which allowed the visitors to bleed the clock. Then the Warriors moved the chains with a simple run play.
After UW did use a timeout to set up the defense to prevent the unthinkable, quarterback Cordeiro made a 50-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jared Smart with no time left look routine.
The crowd of 14,213 was too stunned to boo as the Cowboys entered the swanky High Altitude Performance Center dejected and the Warriors ran into the antiquated visiting locker room.
On the opening drive of the game, Cordeiro capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown scamper to give the visitors a 7-0 head start.
Williams completed three third-down passes for 32 yards in the Pokes’ first drive, but pressure from the Hawaii defensive front led to an incompletion on the fourth third-down attempt.
John Hoyland, who made three field goals at Utah State, missed a 53-yard field goal attempt.
A pass-interference call against linebacker Chad Muma in the end zone set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Calvin Turner with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter.
Cordeiro completed a 28-yard pass to Turner to move the chains on third-and-16 and threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Fiso to make the score 21-0 in the second quarter.
Matthew Shipley’s 25-yard goal extended Hawaii’s lead to 24-0 with 5:22 remaining in the first half.
The Warriors out-gained UW 312-219 in total offense in the first half.
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