The BYU Cougars won 30-20 against the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at the Nov. 25 football game at Aloha Stadium. Rooting for the Cougars were 372 students who were given already-purchased tickets from the Laie YSA 1st and 2nd Stakes, according to Mailefihi Niutupuivaha, the stake president of the YSA 1st Stake.
“The idea was spearheaded by my counselor, President Kehoe,” said Niutupuivaha. “He is over the activities for our stake. When he presented the idea to us, we were all in.”
The two stakes came together to provide the young single adult students with tickets, transportation, and a lunch. All costs were paid for by the individual stakes.
Jacob McGee, the assistant stake clerk for the YSA 1st Stake, said, “The leaders in the stake are so generous. I remember being in President Kehoe’s ward when he was my bishop and he would organize Wet ‘n’ Wild trips for the ward with transportation and food. He’s a big believer of putting people in good places to have fun.”
Rylee Marshall, a freshman from Utah studying biology, said, “This was an experience I would not have been able to have if it weren’t for the free tickets. I would not have just bought tickets on my own because we are poor college students.
“I’ve never been to this stadium so it was a new experience. I love being surrounded by all the students and people I know. It makes it so much more enjoyable than just being with random strangers.”
Kelly Beazer, a freshman from Arizona studying elementary education, said this was her first BYU game ever. “It’s so generous for them to provide these tickets for us because I know it was not cheap.” Beazer said the experience was a good break from school and the atmosphere was full of pride for the Cougars.
Aloha Stadium was somewhat empty as the two teams took to the field for warm-ups 50 minutes before kickoff–according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, around 19,256 fans attended the game, which still left more than half of the 50,000 seat capacity stadium empty.
Despite the lack of attendance and rainy weather, BYUH students wildly cheered while watching BYU’s last game of the season.
BYU ended what fans have described as a disappointing season with a 4-9 record this year, contrasting the Cougars’ 9-4 record from last year.
In the wake of the underwhelming season and two days after BYU defeated UH, the Cougars announced they have released Offensive Coordinator Ty Detmer from the coaching staff and are in search for another coordinator for next season, according to Deseret News.
UH ended the night and the season with a 3-9 record.
The first half ended with BYU on top with a 13-7 lead despite Rhett Almond, the Cougars’ kicker, missing the wide left point after touchdown with 11 minutes and 31 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Almond also later missed a 26-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the first half.
Joe Critchlow, a freshman quarterback for BYU, led the offense down the field in the third quarter and connected on an 11-yard pass to Neil Pau’u. The Cougars took a 20-7 lead with 1 minute and 39 seconds left in the quarter.
However, the Rainbow Warriors battled back in the fourth quarter. With 12 minutes and 23 seconds left in the game, the Warriors capitalized on a turnover and scored on a 15-yard pass to Ammon Barker from the quarterback. The PAT was blocked by Corbin Kaufusi of BYU, making it a 20-13 game.
After a 35-yard field goal by Andrew Mikkelsen, BYU took a 10-point lead, then stopped the Warriors on a 4th down and 4 on the following possession. Some of the crowd could be seen filing out of the stadium as BYU again scored on an 11-yard rush with 3 minutes and 46 seconds remaining for a 30-13 lead.
The Warriors followed with a 6 play, 75-yard drive for a touchdown with 1 minute and 48 seconds remaining in the game, but to no avail.