Fresno State safety Derron Smith attempts a tackle to Hawaii quarterback Ikaika Woolsey during the ‘Dogs’ 28-21 victory over the Rainbow Warriors Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. Photo by Darlene Wendels/The Collegian
In its final home game of the season, the Fresno State football team held off a late rally by Hawaii Saturday night at Bulldog Stadium to advance to the Mountain West Championship for the second consecutive year.
The 28-21 win over the Rainbow Warriors helped the Bulldogs clinch the West Division of the conference. They will face the Boise State Broncos on Dec. 6.
“This is indicative of our entire season,” Bulldogs head coach Tim DeRuyter said. “Our guys didn’t have things easy at times, but I’m extremely proud of this group, especially our seniors. This is a group that started off getting kicked in the teeth early in the season but got back up and found a way to to win the West Division.”
The Bulldogs led 28-0 going into the fourth quarter, but the Warriors were able to ignite a late rally sparked by a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ikaika Woolsey to tight end Harold Moleni. Moments later, Woolsey connected with wide out Donnie King for a 5-yard score to cut Fresno State’s lead in half with just over eight minutes left in the game.
Each of Hawaii’s first two scores came as a result of a pair of interceptions from Bulldogs’ quarterback Brian Burrell.
With just under a minute left, the Warriors cut deeper into the Bulldogs’ lead with another touchdown pass by Woolsey, this time from two yards out to junior Quentin Pedroza.
An onside kick followed the touchdown, but Derron Smith recovered to seal the game for the Bulldogs.
Waller carried the ball 25 times for a game-high 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Woolsey threw for 247 yards and all three touchdowns.