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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, September 19, 2008

Time for work, time for play

Photo gallery: UH Scout Bowl

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

The football comes loose during a collision.

JEFF WIDENER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Royce Pollard

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A little friendly competition among teammates ran the gamut of taunting, teasing, cheering and jeering at the University of Hawai'i football team's Scout Bowl yesterday.

"They should have a good time," Warriors head coach Greg McMackin said. "Football is fun and it should be fun and I think we need to relax and play full speed and have fun. That's what it's all about. This week they've had fun and worked hard. They've worked as hard as we've ever worked. Now we can come back next week and do the same thing and play our style and be a bunch of tough mothers and do our job on both sides of the ball and have fun doing it."

The team coached by linebacker Solomon Elimimian and center John Estes won by two touchdowns, blanking the team led by linebacker Adam Leonard and defensive tackle Keala Watson.

"They got two touchdowns on us, but one call was very disputable, and it caused all the chaos," Leonard said. "It was an option pass and our guy with the forward arm motion released the ball and it went on the ground. They recovered it and they called it a touchdown. I wish we could go to review, but unfortunately we don't have that."

The Warriors have a bye this week, and play San Jose State to open Western Athletic Conference play at Aloha Stadium next Saturday.

"It was the funnest practice I've had all year, just to take off from football a little and give a lot of these guys reps, because they are so important to our team," Elimimian said of the annual scrimmage featuring redshirts and developing players. "They give us looks at practice and work their butts off. It just feels good to see the joy on their faces."

Leonard and Watson both wore collared shirts and headsets, while Estes and Elimimian wore their pads from practice.

"If you want to do this job you need to do it to the best of your ability and we feel that do to the best of your ability you need to dress the part," Leonard said of his coaching attire.

There were several highlights in the full-contact scrimmage. Cornerback Richard Torres recovered a fumble. Receiver Nate Nasca started one way then reversed his field, leaving a trail of defenders chasing after him. Slotback Jon Medeiros made several grabs.

"I don't think we got outcoached, as far as doing our job," Watson said. "We're just going to have to go back and watch the film and hopefully get our players fired up for our next Scout Bowl."

The game remained scoreless until linebacker Kaleo Wong pulled down running back Bryce Kalau'oka'a'ea after the Leonard-Watson squad started from its 2-yard line. The attempted pass by Kalau'oka'a'ea, a converted quarterback, was ruled a fumble and the Elimimian-Estes team recovered the ball in the end zone.

"First of all, I don't know why we're calling a play like that back in our own end zone," said Leonard-Watson quarterback Shane Austin. "That was Adam's only call, so I let him take it, but I don't know, we were trying to throw the ball away if nothing was there, but I wasn't sure. I couldn't see from my angle if he was letting it out. I don't know what happened, so I'm going to stay neutral on that play.

"It was still a questionable call on the option pass on our 2-yard line. I love (Leonard), so it doesn't matter."

The Elimimian-Estes team scored on the last drive of the game on a 6-yard pass from quarterback Jake Santos to wideout Royce Pollard.

"It was really exciting. It's the play everyone wants to make ... big-time catches, especially to win the game like that," Pollard said. "Coach (Mack) told us we had one more series to go down and make a score. I was just focusing and got the grab."

Elimimian said the second score left no doubt about which team was superior.

"There was a dispute on the first touchdown, so rightfully so, we thought we would score another touchdown," Elimimian said. "So if they wanted to dispute (the first one) I guess it's 7-0 and we still win."

Regardless, it appeared that all players whether as participants, spectators or coaches had a good time.

"That's something you look forward to pretty much all season if you're not getting reps," Austin said. "You go out there, show your stuff and get some live hitting. It was fun. I haven't been hit in a while."

Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com.