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QB Mike Wright piles up yards, TDs as Vanderbilt routs Hawaii

Sportsnaut
Vanderbilt Commodores    AJ Swann looks to pass during the Vanderbilt Spring Game at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville , Tenn., Saturday, April 16, 2022.Spring Game004
Credit: Nicole Hester / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Mike Wright passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another two, and visiting Vanderbilt rode a 35-point third quarter to a 63-10 blowout of Hawaii in Saturday’s season opener for both teams in Honolulu.

Hawaii (0-1) drove 75 yards in eight plays on the game’s first drive, capped when Dedrick Parson rushed 37 yards for a touchdown. It was the only time the Rainbow Warriors reached the end zone.

Vanderbilt (1-0) needed just 15 seconds to change the complexion of the contest. Wright threw the first of his two touchdown passes to Will Sheppard, the 1-yard strike finishing a 90-yard drive with 36 seconds left in the first quarter.

Then, with 21 seconds remaining in the period, Anfernee Orji returned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown that gave the Commodores the lead for good.

Matthew Shipley tacked on a Hawaii field goal in the second quarter that pulled the Rainbow Warriors to within 14-10.

Vanderbilt responded by scoring the next 49 points en route to the program’s highest-scoring game since 1969.

Wright concluded the scoring for the first half with a goal-line rush. His second touchdown run was considerably longer. The 87-yarder accounted for more than half of his game- and career-high 163 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Wright put an exclamation point on his night with the last of Vanderbilt’s five third-quarter touchdowns, finding Sheppard for a 15-yard touchdown. Wright finished 13-of-21 passing for 146 yards.

Ray Davis and Rocko Griffin, who each carried for scores during the third-quarter deluge, rushed for 87 and 63 yards on nine and five carries. Chase Gillespie added another 63 yards on 11 carries, and Cooper Lutz ran for a seven-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Vanderbilt outgained Hawaii 601 yards to 358. Parson rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries for Hawaii, while Jonah Panoke caught seven passes for 101 yards.

Brayden Schager and Joey Yellen split quarterbacking duties, with Schager going 18-of-35 for 161 yards and Yellen going 10-of-20 for 89 yards.

–Field Level Media