RUSTON, La. -- Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz passed for 410 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 44-26 win over Louisiana Tech in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams before 25,212 fans at Joe Aillet Stadium Saturday night.
In a game that was marred by numerous stoppages of play by officials - including a 20-minute stoppage in the second quarter on a review of a play - , Hawaii used a pair of non-offensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays midway through the third quarter to pull away for the win.
After Tech closed a two-touchdown halftime deficit to 20-13 on a Nick Isham seven-yard scoring toss to Taulib Ikharo with 13:37 to play in the third quarter, the Bulldogs lost the momentum - and the game - over the next six minutes.
Moniz led Hawaii on a 10-play, 65-yard drive which was capped by his six-yard touchdown pass to Billy Ray Stutzmann. The score strike illustrated the frustrations of the night for Tech as Moniz was under heavy pressure on the third down play and blindly tossed it towards the endzone while going down as Stutzmann came up with the catch amongst four Bulldog defenders.
Trailing 27-13, Tech's offensive unit took over on its own 37-yard line. After converting a third down play, Isham was intercepted by Richard Torres on an out-route as the Hawaii defensive back raced 49-yards untouched to the endzone for a three-touchdown lead.
The situation went from bad to worse moments later as Lyle Fitte fumbled the kickoff and Tank Hopkins scooped and scored from 16-yards out as the Bulldogs found themselves trailing 41-13 with seven minutes to play in the quarter.
Tech scored two final touchdowns - one on an Isham 10-yard pass to Lennon Creer and the final on an Isham four-yard run - but it wasn't enough as the Bulldogs fell for the fourth time in five games.
Tech took an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 2-yard pass from Isham to Quinton Patton, who finished the game with seven catches for 126 yards.
However, Moniz then threw three first half touchdown passes to Royce Pollard (27, 13, 9), who victimized the Tech secondary with 10 catches for 216 yards (all career-highs) and three scores.
Isham completed 29-of-51 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns but threw two interceptions and was sacked four times in the game.
Creer was also held in check, totaling only 63 yards on 16 carries in the game.
Tech returns to action next Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to Moscow to face the Idaho Vandals.
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