RUSTON — Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz passed for 410 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 44-26 win over Louisiana Tech in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams before 25,212 fans at Joe Aillet Stadium Saturday night.
In a game that had numerous stoppages of play by officials — including a 20-minute stoppage in the second quarter on a review of a play — Hawaii used a pair of non-offensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays midway through the third quarter to pull away for the win.
After Tech closed a two-touchdown halftime deficit to 20-13 on a Nick Isham seven-yard scoring toss to Taulib Ikharo with 13:37 to play in the third quarter, the Bulldogs lost the momentum — and the game — over the next six minutes.
Moniz led Hawaii on a 10-play, 65-yard drive, capped by a six-yard touchdown pass to Billy Ray Stutzmann.
Trailing 27-13, Tech’s offense took over on its own 37-yard line and, after converting a third-down play, Isham was intercepted by Richard Torres, who raced 49 yards for a touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lyle Fitte fumbled and Tank Hopkins picked it up and scored from 16 yards out as Hawaii took a 41-13 lead with seven minutes to play in the quarter.
Tech scored two touchdowns — one on an Isham 10-yard pass to Lennon Creer and the final on an Isham 4-yard run.
Tech took an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 2-yard pass from Isham to Quinton Patton, who finished the game with seven catches for 126 yards.
Moniz then threw three first-half touchdown passes to Royce Pollard, who had 10 catches for 216 yards (all career-highs) and three scores.
Isham completed 29-of-51 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns but threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Creer totaled 63 yards on 16 carries.
Tech returns to action Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to face Idaho.