HONOLULU HI- West Virginia Mountaineer graduates T.J. Simmons and Michael Brown added another victory to their resume Sunday night, as team Kai defeated team Aina 15-13 in the annual Hula Bowl in Hawaii.
The postseason all-star game, which had been played yearly since 1947, took a 12-year hiatus until last January, included players from all over the country looking to get an extra stage to show their talents.
Both Brown and Simmons received considerable time on the field in the win.
Team Kai were able to thwart off a late comeback by team Aina that included a pick-six by Michigan defensive lineman Carlo Kemp with just two minutes left to play in the game.
Kemp was named defensive MVP for team ‘Aina, while Iowa running back Mekhi Sargent was named offensive MVP in the losing effort.
For the victorious team Kai, Coastal Carolina running back C.J. Marble and Notre Dame defensive back Nick McCloud were named offensive and defensive MVP’s, respectively.
The game featured a slightly modified NFL set of rules, with a 4th and 15 attempt for a first down taking place of the regular onside kick in college and the NFL. This rule change ended up playing a role in the last two minutes for team Aina, proving unsuccessful as a final attempt to get the ball back late.
This game also likely marked the end of an area for the Hula Bowl.
The matchup had been played at Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium since 1976, but will likely be the last game ever to be played in the stadium after it was announced it would be condemned due to safety concerns in the dated facility.
Cover Photo via: T.J. Simmons Instagram (_lilfufu)