Hawaii Plays With Intensity to Close First Week of Camp

August 03, 2023

Athlete Studio

The University of Hawaii football team concluded the first week of their training camp with a high-intensity display on Saturday. During a 126-play situational scrimmage at the Ching Complex, the Rainbow Warriors showcased their determination and competitiveness.

The defense, in particular, stood out with three interceptions and eight sacks, while the offense displayed a mixture of impressive plays and minor setbacks. Quarterback Brayden Schager acknowledged where the team seeks growth and also highlighted the positive aspects of the practice.

One of the standout moments was a 57-yard touchdown pass between Schager and Steven McBride, who transferred from Kansas. This play has been aptly dubbed the "Schager Bomb." Schager also took the opportunity to experiment with deep throws against specific coverages, resulting in two interceptions by safeties Meki Pei and Peter Manuma.

Head coach Timmy Chang emphasized the importance of taking chances and learning from trial and error during practice. He encouraged Schager to test his limits and make mistakes now to foster growth and development in the new offensive system.

Chang, who is also calling the offensive plays this year, made sure to give all six quarterbacks in the team a chance to showcase their skills. Jake Farrell's 26-yard completion turned into a 51-yard touchdown thanks to Steven Fiso's impressive run after the catch. Joey Yellen, John-Keawe Sagapolutele, Jonah Chong, and Dalen Morris also had opportunities to lead drives.

The defense, employing their aggressive 4-2-5 attack, dominated from the first snap. They effectively shut down running lanes, disrupted the backfield, and tightly defended receivers. Notable defensive plays included powerful hits by Wynden Ho 'ohuli, a knockdown tackle by Kona Moore, and an acrobatic breakup by JoJo Forest.

"Sometimes we have to set the tone early with them, and make them understand there are more important things right now, and that's football, " Chang said. "They're kind of measuring themselves against each other right now, and seeing who's better, who's going to carry the team—offense or defense. "At the end of the day, it's going to take all of us to win games."

Of the exchanges, Chang said, "it gets like that sometimes. It's healthy. It's natural. You kind of calm them down a little and move on and focus from there. ... We've got some good guys. That's a tight group. Because of the battling, they'll come out a little bit tighter."

"They were fired up, " Schager said of the defense. "We've got some dogs out there. They wanted to be physical and they wanted to talk, and that's good. That's what we need. We need guys with that mentality on defense. Same as on offense. It's some fire going at it with each other. But it's all love once we get into the locker room."

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