The Hawaii football team throws a party at their spring game by Amy I. Richarson | Posted on April 17, 2022April 17, 2022 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! It was raining. But the band – Rebel Souljhaz – kept playing, providing musical entertainment at a new venue as a warm-up for the University of Hawaii football team’s spring game. And while the Rainbow Warriors playlist was largely unscripted, there were enough dramatic – and emotional – moments at the Ching Complex. An estimated crowd of 6,000 attended the festivities known as ‘Island Day’ which included the hour-long concert, food trucks, children’s activities and the 47-yard decisive basket of Kyler Halvorsen during Team White’s 27-24 loss to Team Black. It was a musical football moment for Halvorsen, who started the day as a member of the white team. He was “traded” to the black team during pre-game warm-ups, then was sent back to the white team in the second half. From the game-winning kick with 14:03 remaining, Halvorsen credited his long snapper and starter, then expressed his gratitude for the live-action opportunity after 11 spring workouts. “It was amazing to be there after all those early awakenings and the time we spent doing what we trained for,” said Kaiser High 2021 graduate Halvorsen. Matthew Shipley, who handled kicks and punts last season, converted a 55-yard field goal in the second quarter. “It’s good,” Shipley said of the trey, who would have easily been cleared from 60 yards. “I went out there and did what I was supposed to do. We feel good when we do the work. The preparation was good. My holder (Ben Falck) held me well. My snapper (Wyatt Tucker) gave me a great shot. We all executed. >> RELATED: Dave Reardon: Island Day Turned Out To Be A Fun Day Falck said: “Fifty-five yards is nothing to him. It was pretty smooth. I told him to go do his thing, and he did. Tucker was among the seniors last season. But then he was told he could use the 2020 season as his COVID-related exemption season. “They said I was a year older, and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll take it,'” Tucker said. “Since I’ve been here, he’s my fourth starter, second kicker. I like working with these guys. The game featured a blossoming bond between quarterback Jake Farrell and receiver Tamatoa Mokiao-Atimalala. They collaborated on three touchdown passes, including a catch and a 75-yard sprint, for Team White. “It’s 11-a-side football, and everyone did their job, and I was able to get those touchdowns,” Mokiao-Atimalala said. From 75 yards, “I was gassed. I was dying the last 10 meters. He said he faked a block, ran sideways, then accelerated. “We have a connection,” he said. Farrell said, “I love Tama. He travels great roads and always opens up. We hit a few early on, and the big ones came later. It was awesome.” Other highlights were produced by: >> Brayden Schager, who showed strength, precision and leadership as the Black’s starting quarterback. “The vibes were great,” said Schager, who was 2-1 as a freshman starter in 2021. “Everyone was having a great time. The culture really changed.” Schager said he feels comfortable in the hybrid offense set up by Timmy Chang, who was hired as head coach in January, and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ian Shoemaker. “I have a year under my belt,” Schager said. “I struggled at times last year, but this attack is better for me. I learn it well. I am coached as it should be. I think that really helped me. >> Dedrick Parson, who cemented the No. 1 running back position. Parson opened the scoring with a 10-yard run. He has also become a reliable receiver. “Of course I can catch up,” Parson said. “It’s a double effect. I can catch, I can run. >> Leonard Lee, a hybrid defender, made two interceptions. Lee thought his UH career was over when he criticized former head coach Todd Graham’s leadership. He was fired from the team after missing two practices. But after Chang was hired, Lee requested his reinstatement. Lee was allowed to join after receiving endorsement from UH players and excelling in a tryout for walk-ons. “It’s nice to finally be able to play football again,” Lee said. “Grateful and blessed. These are the words that come to mind every day. So grateful to Coach Chang, Coach Abe (Elimimian), Coach (Jacob) Yoro, Nate (Ilaoa) and Derek (Faavi). They kind of put the word for me. They put a foot in the door for me and I was able to come back.