Tough love for Moniz
BY Stephen Tsai
A compilation of Hawai'i quarterback Bryant Moniz's greatest hits can be recalled at a Warrior football practice.
There was the time when Moniz, who was Leilehua High's quarterback, was knocked down by Castle High linebacker Corey Paredes.
"He was scrambling, and when he turned around, I was right there," said Paredes, now a UH outside linebacker.
Then there was the time 'Aiea linebacker R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane delivered a smackdown on Moniz.
"That was my senior year and his sophomore year," said Kiesel-Kauhane, now a Warrior co-captain. "He was rolling to his left. He threw the ball and I just caught him. I got a free shot. I thought I hit him real hard. But he got right back up. That guy is tough."
That same year, 2004, Castle linebacker Blaze Soares tattooed Moniz's ribs.
"It was fourth-and-1," Moniz remembered. "I tried to do a quarterback sneak."
Soares: "I just hit him."
Moniz: "That was sore."
Soares: "I felt kind of bad. I don't try to hurt anybody. That's football. That's part of the game. But Mo stuck it out. He's a tough guy. He stayed in the game."
Indeed, in last Saturday's 24-6 victory over New Mexico State, Moniz suffered bruised ribs in the first quarter. He played through the first play of the fourth quarter, then motioned that he needed to come out.
"I didn't know that was what he was signaling," said quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich, who calls the offensive plays. "I thought he wanted to run the same play over again. Then I saw him walking with his head down."
X-rays did not show any fractures to Moniz's ribs. He was told to rest during Monday's light drills, and he did not participate in yesterday's one-hour practice.
Moniz will resume practicing today. He is expected to start in Saturday's road game against San Jose State.
Moniz said his bruised ribs feel better than when he was struck by Soares during that 2004 playoff game.
"That one was much worse," Moniz said. "It's kind of funny. I'm on the same team with all of those guys who hurt me in high school. R.J. hurt me. He knocked the wind out of me. It's cool we're on the same team now. They can't hurt me anymore."
Kiesel-Kauhane said: "I have a lot of respect for him. Quarterbacks don't get hit in practice, but they have to learn to take a hit in the game. He takes a lot of hits, but he keeps getting back up. That time I hit him in high school? He still finished the game — and they beat us by two touchdowns."
• The Dec. 5 game between UH and Wisconsin will kick off at 6:30 p.m. at Aloha Stadium, it was announced yesterday.
The regular-season finale for both teams will be shown nationally on ESPN2.
NEWS AND NOTES
• Left slotback Greg Salas yesterday did not practice because of a sprained right foot. Salas said he probably will resume practicing tomorrow morning. The Warriors depart that afternoon for San Jose.
• Right cornerback Jeramy Bryant said he will be cleared to play in Saturday's game. Bryant has missed three consecutive games because of a tear in his left biceps.
• Wideout Royce Pollard, who has missed five games because of hairline fracture in his left fibula, said he has been cleared to play. Pollard received a paper indicating he will be on the 64-player travel roster.
• Aaron Kia wants it to be clear: He is not performing a dance before UH home games.
"Dance?" said Kia, who leads the Warriors onto the field. "Everybody says it's a dance. It's not. I go out (to midfield) and touch the H (logo) for good luck. Then I throw it up to the crowd, throw some love out there. If they want to throw some love back, they can. If they don't, it's all good."