Dec. 16, 2011
*Written by the 'Voice of the Golden Eagles' John CoxAs the Golden Eagles prepare to head out to Honolulu, Hi., for the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl on Christmas Eve, it will mark the second time that the Golden Eagles have flown out to the islands for football. The first time occurred during the 1977 season, when the Golden Eagles met the University of Hawai'i, Oct. 15, at Aloha Stadium, the same place where the bowl game will be played. It was a beautiful night for football with temperatures about 81 degrees and the wind blowing about 15 miles. There were rain showers near the mountains that night. A crowd of 26,474 were on hand to watch the first, and only matchup, between Southern Miss and Hawai'i.
The Golden Eagles fell behind early in the game to the Rainbow Warriors and trailed 13-7 at halftime, but Southern Miss seized the lead with three third quarter touchdowns.
Tailback Raymond "Tiko" Beal's one-yard run, tight end Marvin "Rock" Harvey's 80-yard reception from quarterback Dane McDaniel, and a 35-yard run by McDaniel. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns pulled Hawai'i to within 28-26 with just under eight minutes to play. The Rainbow Warriors then drove to the Eagle 10-yard line and attempted a 27-yard field goal to win the game, but Southern Miss legend Hanford Dixon blocked the kick with 12 seconds to go, preserving the victory. The Golden Eagles rolled up 510 yards in the contest, but committed five turnovers. Hawai'i had 425 yards that night and turned the ball over twice.
Tailback Ben "Go-Go" Garry was the leading rusher for the Golden Eagles that night with 18 carries for 118 yards, while McDaniel rushed for 75 yards. McDaniel completed 4-of-8 passes for 128-yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Jeff Hammond completed 3-of-6 passes for 80 yards. Harvey was the leading pass receiver for the Eagles that night with three catches for 144 yards and a touchdown, wide receiver John Cannon caught two passes for 34-yards, while Garry and tight end Larry Harrington each caught one pass.
On Defense, linebacker Freeman Horton led the Golden Eagle defense with 11 tackles, while defensive tackle J.J. Stewart had 10 tackles and a tackle for a loss. Defensive lineman Anthony "Stoney" Parker had nine tackles and a tackle for a loss and linebacker Ronald "Clump" Taylor had nine tackles and broke up a pass. Defensive back Mike "Crazy" Crenshaw intercepted a pass that night as did linebacker Clemon Ector. For some reason, and I can't remember why, they selected an offensive and defensive player of the game. McDaniel of Southern Miss was the offensive player of the game and Stewart of Southern Miss and Tom Murphy of Hawai'i, who had 13 tackles and recovered a fumble, were the defensive players of the game. The Golden Eagles were penalized six times for 65-yards in the game, several for delay of game because they have their mouth pieces in.
After the game Southern Miss coach Bobby Collins said, "We were happy to get out by the skin of our teeth. It really a super effort by both sides. Hawai'i came out and kept fighting back. Of course you've got to give Southern Miss credit for fighting back. I can't be prouder of the offense and defense. It was a tough trip; you have to give our players credit for their performance. Jeff Hammond has a hurt back; he got it in the Ole Miss game. We were very pleased with the way McDaniel came out and played. He deserves more playing time. Schmidt did a tremendous job. But Haslip (the Hawai'i fullback), DAMN! He was something else. And the quarterback (Duva) did a great job under the amount of pressure he was under. I would like to wish Hawai'i the best of luck for the rest of the season. We really appreciate the hospitality. We had a wonderful time."
The Golden Eagle basketball team traveled to Hawaii during the 1998-1999 season and played in the Honolulu Thanksgiving Shootout. The Golden Eagles, under Coach James Green, defeated Hofstra in the opening round of the tournament, 61-60. They trailed most of the way until Anthony Richards converted a three-point play with just over three minutes remaining. Earl Flowers followed with a steal and an easy lay-up and Vandarel Jones would later get a steal and a slam dunk to secure the Eagle win. The following day the Eagles lost 86-75 to Illinois State, but then defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 51-48, in overtime in the third-place game. The Eagles held the Rams without a point in overtime until there was less than a second left.
The Lady Eagle basketball team played in Hawaii during the 1996-1997 season with Coach Kay James. Unfortunately, they lost both games, falling 96-80 to Drake in the opening game, and then to host Hawai'i, 91-81, the following day.
The Golden Eagle tennis team even made a trip to Hawaii back during the time when Larry "Doc" Harrington was the head coach.
We hope that you will be watching and listening on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network when the Golden Eagles meet Nevada on Christmas Eve. On our radio network, the coverage begins at 5:30 p.m., CT with our Golden Eagle Tailgate Show. The pregame will include our Meet and Eagle of the Past which features the late Robert "Ace" Cleveland, the long time Sports Information Director at Southern Miss (1955-1986), our Great Moment in Southern Miss Football is the 1997 Liberty Bowl when the Golden Eagles beat Pittsburgh 41-7, while the Inside Scoop will be with retiring athletic director Richard Giannini who reflects on his time at Southern Miss, while the Golden Eagle Close-up features the Golden Eagle seniors. Kickoff time is set for a little after 7 p.m. CT.
Don't forget there is basketball on Saturday (Dec. 18) against Ole Miss, Dec. 22 against South Florida, Dec. 27 against Belhaven and Dec. 29 against Alcorn state at Green Coliseum and road games at Arizona State (Dec. 19) and McNeese State (Dec. 31)
On behalf of all of us on the Southern Miss IMG Sports Network, we hope you have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.