Mountain West Football Championship: Boise State Defeats Hawaii, 31-10
The Broncos claimed their third outright conference title in a convincing win over the Warriors on Saturday afternoon.
A runaway victory for the boys in blue.
The Boise State Broncos rode a strong defensive performance, complete with multiple red zone stands, to beat the Hawaii Warriors, 31-10, and win the 2019 Mountain West football championship.
Boise State finished the game with only a slight advantage in terms of total offense, outgaining the Warriors 364-320 and only 5.4 to 5.2 on a per-play basis, but the defense held firm on three different drives that reached inside the 40-yard line, including two goal line stands in the early second and early third quarter. The third stop came courtesy of Kekoa Nawahine, who intercepted a Cole McDonald pass that the offense would turn into a touchdown of its own.
Unlike the first matchup between these two teams, McDonald got off to a fairly strong start overall but tailed off as the Warriors fell behind and were forced to throw. He completed 15 of his first 22 passes, but six straight incompletions and a fumble forced by Sonatane Lui proved too much to overcome and he finished 20-of-36 for 241 yards with zero touchdowns.
Lui earned Defensive MVP honors after tallying two of Boise State’s three sacks, in addition to the fumble, and five total tackles.
Jaylon Henderson, meanwhile, was named Offensive MVP by keeping the Warriors defense on its heels with both his arm and his legs. He completed 21-of-30 passes for 220 yards with two touchdowns, the lone blemish an interception by Kai Kaneshiro. He also ran for 51 yards on 14 carries, absorbing just one sack from Jonah Laulu, while combining with running back George Holani to average 3.9 yards per carry.
Khalil Shakir also had a standout performance for the Broncos in scoring twice, first to give Boise State a 10-3 lead in the second quarter and again in the third quarter to put the rout on for good, while contributing 99 all-purpose yards. Miles Reed led Hawaii with 87 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Jason-Matthew Sharsh led Warriors receivers with 74 yards on seven catches.