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Rebels capture golden pineapple, extend win streak

The UNLV Rebels defeated the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday 27-13 to capture the Golden Pineapple trophy in the Ninth Island Showdown.

This was the second win of the season for the Rebels and their second win in a row after starting the season with eight consecutive losses.

The offense was led by senior running back Charles Williams, who ran for a career-high 266 rushing yards on 38 carries. Williams added three rushing touchdowns to go along with his rushing yards.

For his massive day, Williams was given the honor of Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week. This was the first time this season that he has won the award and this is the second straight week that a UNLV player won a Player of the Week honor. Last week freshman quarterback Cameron Friel won the award for top freshman.

Speaking of Friel, he followed up last week’s 227-yard performance with 172 yards this week and completed 15 of his 25 pass attempts. Unfortunately, Friel did throw two interceptions during the game.

Friel’s two biggest targets once again were wide receivers Kyle Williams and Steve Jenkins. Williams finished the day with three catches for a team-high 73 yards and Jenkins finished with three catches for 67 yards.

After falling behind to the Warriors by a score of 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, the Rebels outscored Hawaii 20-3 the rest of the game. Hawaii’s lone score came on a field goal in the fourth quarter.

The defense came up big again for the Rebels. After having eight sacks last week, they followed up that performance with another four sacks against the Warriors. On top of their four sacks, sophomore defensive back Ricky Johnson led the way with two interceptions. He also had three tackles to go along with those interceptions.

Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro completed 10 of his 23 pass attempts for 183 yards. He also had one touchdown pass and two interceptions.

Cordeiro’s main target was sophomore wide receiver Nick Mardner. Mardner finished with a game-high 139 receiving yards on four catches. He caught Cordeiro’s lone touchdown pass.

The Rebels are looking to continue their winning streak this week when the 22nd-ranked San Diego State Aztecs come to town. The Aztecs, who are currently 9-1 on the season, are coming off of a thrilling last-minute victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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