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Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Centurions: #12 Blane Gaison

The Star-Bulletin's countdown of UH football's "Centurions", the 100 greatest players in the University of Hawaii's 100 years of football, continues with #12, safety/quarterback Blane Gaison.

Paul Honda profiles Gaison.
Steering the defense from his safety position, Gaison was a coach on the field. No. 11's intelligence and versatility provided Rainbow Warriors fans with some of their greatest memories. Few athletes can go most of a season without taking a snap under center, then lead a team to victory over established programs.

Gaison's return to quarterback, all because of injury problems to UH's top two slingers, yielded victories over Colorado State and Arizona State. The win over ASU, which had left the WAC to join the Pac-10 the year before (1978), was a demonstration in Tomey's pillars for success: defense and a ground attack.

"He'd hand it off to Gary Allen and David Toloumu. Gary ran for 150 yards," Tomey said, noting the stellar play of a defense that kept Arizona State to its lowest offensive output in seven games.

The Sun Devils, who featured future NFL quarterback Mark Malone, had to play it safe to an extent. Gaison had already shown, in a win over CSU, that he could throw the ball. A third-down completion to tight end Jerry Scanlan was clutch.

"That play was the most shocking thing. That game was totally off the wall," Gaison said. "(Scanlan) was the third option, and we never worked on it. After the game, Coach Tomey said, 'How did you see that?' "

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