UNLV defeated Hawaii in the Ninth island Showdown 44-20 on Sept. 30 to make its record 4-1 entering its bye week.
The Golden Pineapple Trophy since its induction in 2017 has been claimed by the home team in six of seven Ninth Island Showdowns.
Jayden Maiava under center won in his first home start of his college career completing 11-of- 21 for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
The Rebels used five running backs in the game and all of them contributed to the victory. Donavyn Lester gained the most yards on the ground with 97 and a touchdown. Courtney Reese scored two touchdowns and ran for 26 yards. Vincent Davis Jr. caught a 16-yard touchdown pass and rushed for 45 yards. Jai’Den “Jet” Thomas and Jordan Younge-Humphrey combined for 107 yards rushing and played a pivotal role in moving the chains for the Rebels.
Brayden Schager completed 22-of-35 of his passes for 313 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. Schager’s go-to target Steven McBride caught six passes for 180 yards and a touchdown.
The UNLV defense gave Schager trouble the entire game, sacking him six times including a strip-sack by Zavier Carter late in the first half.
Both teams started its first drives stagnant, failing to reach midfield.
UNLV striked first in the scoring column with a scoring drive that started a Younge Humphrey 32-yard carry. Maiava finished off the drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Davis Jr. to make the score 7-0.
The Rebels defense carried the momentum following the touchdown drive picking up back-to-back sacks by Marsel McDuffie and Alexander Whitmore to force a three-and-out.
The Rainbow Warriors bounced back forcing UNLV to a three-and-out and on offense they pushed the ball passed midfield for the first time. The 12-play drive stalled on the 45-yard line, failing to convert on a 4th & 3 giving the Rebels the ball.
The Rebels on its first drive of the second quarter was jump started by a 15-yard facemask penalty by Hawaii that put them into field goal range. The Rebels drive stalled at the 34-yard line and kicker Jose Pizano knocked down a 52-yard field goal to put the Rebels up 10-0.
Schager connected two deep passes to McBride to move the Rainbow Warriors down the field. The first pass was a 24-yards and on the next play was a 35-yard pass putting Hawaii in the red zone. Schager was not able to find any of his receivers in the red zone and Hawaii settled for a 33-yard field goal by Matthew Shipley to make the score 10-3 with 12 minutes remaining in the half.
Maiava sparked the Rebels next drive with his legs with a 21-yard carry on 3rd and 15 to move the chains. He also converted two more third down with his arm to put the Rebels in the red zone. The Rebels drive ended similar to Hawaii settling for a 27 yard field goal by Pizano to make the score 13-3.
A strip sack by Carter following a Darius Johnson sack Schager took away the Rainbow Warriors last scoring chance of the first half putting Rebels in great field position with just over two minutes to go in the half.
Reese punched in a 4-yard touchdown with 45 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Rainbow Warriors were unable to counter the Rebels drive in last minute of the half and UNLV entered the half up 20-3.
The Rebels defensive line was stout to start off the second half stopping Hawaii running back Jordan Johnson short on a 3rd and 2 to force a three-and-out.
Hawaii got on the scoreboard first in the second half with a flea flicker trick play that resulted in a 51-yard touchdown pass from Schager to McBride to cut the Rain Warrior deficit 20-10.
UNLV responded to the Rainbow Warrior with a eight-play 75-yard drive that resulted in a 21-yard touchdown by Reese making it his second of the game making the score 27-10.
The Schager and McBride connection stayed hot with them connecting on a 55-yard pass putting Hawaii in the red zone. Hawaii’s struggles in the red zone continued, gaining four yards in the next set of downs and settling for a 34-yard field goal by Shipley to make the score 27-13.
The Rebels drive following the McBride touchdown was a long 11-yard drive that went through the end of the third quarter and ended in beginning of fourth quarter with a 48-yard field goal by Pizano to extend the Rebel lead to 30-13.
Hawaii’s offense stayed hot with Schager finding Pofele Ashlock downfield for a 38-yard touchdown cutting the Rainbow Warriors deficit to 30-20 with just under 13 minutes left in the game.
Ricky White flipped the field for the Rebels following the Ashlock touchdown with a 34-yard reception to put UNLV deep in Rainbow Warrior territory. Maiava finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jacob De Jesus to make it a three score game with under 10 minutes remaining.
Lester put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run to make the score 44-20 with just over five minutes remaining.
Quinten Moten made an interception at the goaline to prevent Hawaii from scoring on its final drive and the Rebels won the game 44-20.
The UNLV Rebels have a bye week before they take on the Reno Wolfpack on the road to defend the Fremont Cannon on Oct. 14 at 2 p.m.