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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 22, 2003

Game 12 | Warriors roll through Crimson Tide

Nov. 29 at Aloha Stadium • UH 37, Alabama 29

Advertiser Staff

It was all about the dove.

Even before quarterback Jason Whieldon and wideout Jeremiah Cockheran emerged as miracle workers, and before the University of Hawai'i defense denied Alabama and its rich tradition in a made-for-national-television 37-29 victory at Aloha Stadium, there was the dove.

While lounging on a lanai at the team's hotel in Waikiki yesterday morning, Whieldon, Cockheran and linebacker Chad Kapanui watched in amazement as a white dove perched on the railing for about five seconds.

"We knew that was a sign of good luck," Whieldon said. "When the white dove flew up, we all looked at each other and we said, 'Today's going to be a great day.' "

"Every time we made a good play," Cockheran said, "I told the guys, 'It's the dove, baby. It's the dove.' "

Indeed, the symbol of peace was one of the inspirational pieces in the Warriors' most prominent victory. To be sure, the Warriors have had their share of upsets — over Illinois in the Holiday Bowl, over Brigham Young, over Washington and Iowa — but none carries the prestige of beating Alabama, a 12-time national champion.

In the Warriors' rose-colored view, it mattered little that the Crimson Tide (4-9) is on probation and under its third head coach in 11 months.

"Alabama is such a great team with so much tradition," UH linebacker Keani Alapa said.

The Tide appeared to be in control early, jumping to a 14-0 lead, then regaining the lead, 21-16, when Alabama safety Roman Harper parlayed a blocked field goal into 73-yard return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

"It was a like a boxing match," UH cornerback Abraham Elimimian said. "Those guys don't quit, but neither do we."

For the Warriors, the biggest blows were delivered by Whieldon, who threw for 237 yards and four touchdowns in place of struggling starter Tim Chang; Cockheran, who manufactured two eye-wiping touchdowns, and a relentless defense that forced three turnovers and made six sacks, including one for a safety.

• • •

ALABAMA 7 7 7 8 — 29

HAWAI'I 0 14 2 21 — 37

First Quarter

Ala—Shaud Williams 1 run (Brian Bostick kick)

Second Quarter

Ala—Clint Johnston 2 pass from Brodie Croyle (Bostick kick)

UH—Jeremiah Cockheran 48 pass from Jason Whieldon

(Nolan Miranda kick)

UH—Se'e Poumele 4 pass from Whieldon (Miranda kick)

Third Quarter

UH—Safety, Croyle tackled by Lance Samuseva in end zone

Ala—Roman Harper 73 blocked field goal return (Bostick kick)

Fourth Quarter

UH—Cockheran 47 pass from Whieldon (Michael Brewster run)

UH—Clifton Herbert 20 pass from Whieldon (kick failed)

UH—Whieldon 18 run (Miranda kick)

Ala—Lance Taylor 5 pass from Croyle (Williams pass from Croyle)


RUSHING: Alabama—Williams 18-105, Ray Hudson 11-62, Team 1-(minus 3), Kenneth Darby 1-(minus 5), Croyle 12-(minus 8). Hawai'i—Brewster 7-56, John West 2-34, Whieldon 5-31, Mike Bass 2-10, Timmy Chang 2-7, Chad Owens 1-(minus 1), Team 2-(minus 3).

PASSING: Alabama—Croyle 20-37-2-247; Bo Freelend 1-1-0-11. Hawai'i—Whieldon 15-25-1-237; Chang 7-23-0-38.

RECEIVING: Alabama—Williams 5-73; Zach Fletcher 4-78; Tyrone Prothro 3-63; Lance Taylor 3-22; Ray Hudson 3-9; Harper 1-11, Johnston 1-2; Tim Castille 1-0. Hawai'i—Cockheran 5-124; Brewster 3-43; Owens 3-34, Britton Komine 3-17, Herbert 2-27, Se'e Poumele 2-10, Jason Rivers 2-10, Bass 1-5, Daniel Inferrera 1-5.