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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:28 p.m., Saturday, December 3, 2005

Warriors beat San Diego State, 49-38, in finale

Associated Press

Colt Brennan threw for 326 yards and five touchdowns as Hawai'i put on an offensive show and defeated San Diego State 49-38 tonight in the season finale for both teams.

Freshman Ryan Grice-Mullen had 10 catches for 167 yards and three TDs for the Warriors (5-7) who racked up 588 total yards of offense and ended their season on a winning note, but failed to reach the postseason for the first time in four years.

Brennan was 25-of-37 passing and finished his first season with the Warriors throwing for 4,301 yards and 35 TDs.

Down 21-7, the Warriors scored three touchdowns in the final 2:50 of the first half, including two scores in 13 seconds, to take a 28-21 lead at the break. The last two TDs, catches of 13 and 10 yards by Grice-Mullen, came off of San Diego State turnovers.

With San Diego State driving and looking to pad its lead just before the half, Ryan Keomaka intercepted an errant pass by Kevin O'Connell at Hawai'i's goal line. He then scrambled 14 yards before pitching it to fellow cornerback Kenny Patton who fought his way to the Aztecs' 49.

The Warriors tied the game at 21 with 28 seconds left in the half on Grice-Mullen's second TD catch of the day, a 13 yarder. He scored again 13 seconds later after Hawai'i took possession on SDSU's 10 on a botched handoff from O'Connell to Hamilton.

Grice-Mullen had five receptions for 114 yards and three TDs in the first half. He also scored Hawaii's first touchdown, a 63-yard catch, tying the game at 7.

With the Aztecs blitzing, Grice-Mullen was wide open when he caught the ball near midfield and sprinted down the left sideline for the touchdown.

The Aztecs (5-7) not only had a difficult time keeping up with Hawai'i's short and speedy receivers, but also Hawaii's running attack.

Nate Ilaoa rushed 15 times for 151 yards and became the first player this season to break 100 yards rushing for Hawaii. He caught an 11-yard touchdown pass and ran 25 yards for another score to give the Warriors a 49-24 lead in the fourth quarter.

The 6-foot, 351-pound Reagan Mauia ran for 56 yards, including a bulldozing 10-yard TD run that put Hawai'i up 35-14. He entered the game with just 3 rushing yards.

SDSU scored two TDs in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get any closer.

O'Connell was 33-of-51 passing for 421 yards and three TDs.

Jeff Webb had 13 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 92 receptions for 1,109 yards and 10 TDs for the year. His 16-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter cut Hawai'i's lead to 49-31.

He also caught a 2-yarder for a touchdown in the second quarter. The score was set up by catches of 22 and 44 yards by Lance Louis, who had seven catches for 82 yards at halftime.

San Diego State took a 21-7 lead on a 14-yard run by O'Connell, who faked a handoff to Hamilton, made a couple nice moves and jogged into the end zone.

The loss puts a bigger question mark on the fate of San Diego State coach Tom Craft, who is now 19-29 in four seasons with the Aztecs and has a year left on his contract.

SDSU athletic director Jeff Schemmel has said he'll wait until the season is completed before making a decision on Craft's future.