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Hawaii 13, San Jose State 10

11/1/2003

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- San Jose State was a few inches short
and a moment too late.

The Spartans' hopes for an upset victory over Hawaii died on the
1, where Courtney Alexander was tackled as he lunged for the goal
line in the final seconds. San Jose State was unable to get another
play before time expired in the Warriors' 13-10 victory Saturday.

The frantic final moments were confusing to everyone at Spartan
Stadium. After Alexander was ruled just short of the end zone, the
officials decided Scott Rislov had spiked the ball with no time on
the clock -- despite the 0:01 still showing on the scoreboard.

Rislov's momentary attempt to run forward with the snap made the
difference in a nail-biting victory for the Warriors (6-3, 5-1
WAC).

"Truthfully, I thought there was 1 second left on the clock,"
Rislov said. "If this was the NFL, it would be instant replay, but
we don't have that luxury. (The final play was) indecision on my
part. I didn't think it would take 2 seconds. It was right on the
goal line. It was as close as you could get without being in."

Emotions ran high after the final whistle as well. The Spartans
confronted the celebrating Warriors at midfield, where many shoves
were exchanged but no fights broke out.

West Keliikipi caught a touchdown pass from Timmy Chang and
rushed for another score in the fourth straight victory for the
Warriors, who were saved by the Spartans' failure to manage the
clock in prime position for a tying or winning score.

"You just never know," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "We were
lucky. ... From where I was standing, I couldn't tell, but it
looked like (Anderson) was in."

After being shut out since the first quarter, San Jose State
(2-6, 1-4) drove 84 yards in the final seconds, using up their
timeouts along the way. Rislov completed long passes to Leon Pinky
and Jamall Broussard while moving inside the 10.

Anderson caught a screen pass, dodged several tacklers and
lunged for the goal line, but was brought down as he stretched the
ball toward the end zone. Several Spartans signaled for a
touchdown, but officials spotted the ball at the 1.

"I knew if we could tackle them inbounds, the clock would run
out," said Hawaii cornerback Abraham Elimimian, who made the first
hit on Anderson. "I turned the play inside and waited for my
friends."

The Spartans rushed to the line -- but in the confusion,
quarterback Scott Rislov took one step toward the line before
retreating to spike the ball. After a brief conference, the
officials ruled time had expired.

"The quarterback tried to run, was stopped, then took a step
and spiked the ball," referee Gene Semko said.

In the WAC version of a defensive battle, the teams combined for
39 first downs and 737 yards, but just three touchdowns. Chang
threw two early interceptions, but finished 28-of-46 for 332 yards
as Hawaii remained in second place in the conference, behind 4-0
Boise State.

"We've got to do a better job of teaching our young men how to
finish," said San Jose State coach Fitz Hill, whose team recovered
well from a 63-point loss to Boise State last week. "I was very
disappointed for these young men and our loyal fans, but I am
encouraged our men didn't give up."

Hawaii had its second-lowest scoring game ever under Jones.

"We overcame a lot of things," Jones said. "We didn't play
well offensively. Timmy was a little off, but we won the game, and
that's all we needed to do."

Playing in a game that began at 10 a.m. Hawaii time, the
Warriors shook off a predictably slow start. Chad Owens caught nine
passes for 149 yards, and Keliikipi caught a 15-yard TD pass from
Chang late in the third quarter, capping the last of several
lengthy drives.

Rislov passed for 223 yards, throwing a 28-yard TD pass to
Pinky, a backup tight end who leads the Spartans with five scoring
catches this season.

The Warriors made several lengthy drives before halftime, but
two ended in interceptions by linebacker Mike Liranzo as San Jose
State took an early 10-0 lead. Hawaii finally scored 1:10 before
halftime on Keliikipi's 1-yard dive.