San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Turnovers, deep passes help Football snap losing streak against Hawaii

The Aztecs get back in the win column as they defeat the Rainbow Warriors 41-34
Victor Nyden
San Diego State wide receiver Mekhi Shaw (83) moves up field after making a reception against Idaho State. Shaw had a season high six catches for 126 yards and a touchdown against Hawaii on Saturday. Oct. 14

The San Diego State Aztecs returned to the win column as they defeated the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 41-34 on Saturday at the Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu. The Aztecs earned their first win in conference play this season while improving their overall record to 3-4. 

Quarterback Jalen Mayden ended his night with 18 completions on 24 attempts, 221 passing yards, one passing touchdown and one interception. Running back Lucky Sutton scored two rushing touchdowns for the Aztecs on seven attempts for 23 yards. Wide Receiver Mekhi Shaw led the team in receptions and receiving yards with six catches for 126 yards and one touchdown. 

SDSU (3-4, 1-2 Mountain West Conference) got started early after safety Eric Butler blocked a punt on Hawaii’s opening drive, which resulted in a Jack Browning 22-yard field goal.

The next three drives resulted in three-and-outs, with the last one having Hawaii (2-5, 0-2) punt from their own 5-yard-line. This led to Mayden leading the Aztecs to a six-play, 43-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Sutton. The first quarter ended with SDSU leading 10-0.

The Aztecs began the second quarter with the football. Mayden was 7-for-7 so far with 56 yards passing until throwing an interception to Hawaii defensive back Peter Manuma. On the next play, Hawaii quarterback Brayden Schager threw a pick-six to SDSU safety Deshawn McCuin, who ran 70 yards to the end zone as the Aztecs lead grew to 17-0 with 12:25 left in the first half.

Hawaii then answered on their next drive with a 10-play, 91-yard drive that ended with Schager throwing a 17-yard touchdown to Hawaii wide receiver Pofele Ashlock.

After forcing an SDSU three and out, Hawaii punt returner Steven McBride muffed a punt, with the Aztecs’ Zyrus Fiaseu making the recovery. The resulting drive ended with a missed 50-yard field goal. 

Hawaii then scored a touchdown on a three play drive that covered 67 yards in only 1:29. The drive included a 62-yard pass from Schager to McBride, then an eight-yard touchdown pass from Schager to wide receiver Alex Perry. The Aztecs led at the half 17-14.

Both teams traded field goals to make it 20-17 with SDSU leading in the third quarter.

The Rainbow Warriors then received the ball with 56 seconds left and scored another touchdown on a three play drive that went for 75 yards to close the period. A 52-yard touchdown pass from Schager to wide receiver Nick Cenacle gave Hawaii a 24-20 lead.

The Azetcs responded with a three play drive of their own, highlighted by a 69-yard touchdown pass from Mayden to Shaw on a third down. The Aztecs re-took the lead 27-24 with 13:33 left in the game.

On the next drive, defensive lineman Keion Mitchell forced a fumble by Ashlock that was recovered by Fiaseu, setting up the Aztecs at the Warriors 24-yard line.

The drive ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Sutton, with SDSU extending their lead to 34-24. 

Hawaii would not go away easily, as on the next drive, Schager connected with McBride on a 65-yard completion. Two plays later, they scored on a one-yard rushing touchdown by running back Landon Sims, cutting the Aztec lead to 34-31. 

On their next drive, the Aztecs were able to reach the Hawaii 21-yard line before facing a fourth down with five minutes left in the game. SDSU turned the ball over on downs after a failed QB sneak.

On the ensuing drive, Hawaii running back Sims fumbled, recovered by SDSU defensive lineman Ryan Henderson. The Aztecs took over on the Warriors 23-yard line and ended the drive with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Jaylon Armstead to hold firm control with a 41-31 lead with 2:11 remaining.

The Rainbow Warriors kicked a 47-yard field goal on second down with one minute remaining. Their onside kick attempt was quickly recovered by Aztecs running back Martin Blake.

SDSU had 378 total yards in the game to Hawaii’s 480. The Aztecs forced four turnovers that resulted in 21 points, including the pick-six by McCuin. 

San Diego State looks to continue their winning ways against Nevada at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21 at Snapdragon Stadium.