One side of billboard in front of Hilo High School on Friday highlighted the evening’s BIIF Division I championship game against Kealakehe.
The other side was a student service message, trumpeting the aloha spirit: Don’t be a bully.
The Vikings’ football team never seems to get that second message. They’re the biggest tormentors on the island six years and running now.
Kyan Miyasato threw for two scores, Hilo’s defense finished BIIF play by allowing just its sixth touchdown of the season and the Vikings added to their dynasty with a 25-11 victory against the Waveriders on a wet night at Wong Stadium.
“Every one is sweet,” coach Kaeo Drummondo said.
Kaleo Ramos ran for 135 yards and a score for Hilo (8-0), which gave up almost 200 yards in the air but shut down the Waveriders’ running game.
“He’s been running well all season, not surprised with how he ran tonight,” Drummondo said.
Hilo’s 12th-graders never got a senior day in the regular season – Kamehameha forfeited a Week 7 game at Wong – but every player got chance to hear their name called in the postgame celebration Friday night, before the seniors took their turn. Hilo may well host an HHSAA semifinal on Nov. 9 as they start their state title defense.
“Different group of guys with the way we execute,” said senior safety Kahiau Walker, now a four-time champion. “Young group, but we play fast and physical,”
And to think, when Hilo coach Kaeo Drummondo took an assistant coaching position at Hilo in 2012 – the current seniors were in the sixth-grade – the Vikings were still trying to climb Mount Kealakehe.
“Honestly, going into the year, we met as a staff and told ourselves, this team is capable, but we’re really going to have to develop and coach, and we’re going to have ups and downs and we’re going to have to stick with it,” Drummondo said. “At the end of the day, we’ll see. Let the chips fall where they may.”
Friday night wasn’t quite a Hilo avalanche, though it started that way as the Vikings raced out to a three-score lead before penalties and turnovers set in.
Miyasato was 9 of 14 for of 120 yards with touchdown passes to Kalae Akui and Fiki Aguiar and an interception (Kelii Pelekane).
Ramos picked a fine time for his best game of the season and credited his blockers up front.
The offensive line “needed a lot of work from the beginning of the season,” Ramos said. “All of the seniors left, but they’ve definitely progressed.”
Kealakehe’s Jorden Himalaya finished 16 of 26 for 199 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions (Kapana Kanae-Kane, Klyson Kawai). Elijah Kahele was negated on the ground, running 13 times for 28 yards, but he hauled in a 26-yard scoring pass in the third quarter. Ikaika Pali made eight receptions.
It was just one of those nights for the Waveriders (5-3). In the second quarter, Navy Mareko dropped Miyasato for a sack and a big loss, but he got a hold of Miyasato’s face mask on the play, and two plays later Miyasato dropped in a pass to a well-defended Ogata in the back corner of the right end zone for a 17-0 lead.
The Vikings were far from perfect, committing eight penalties, two of which wiped out Kalae Akui touchdown catches on consecutive plays, and turning the ball over twice in the first half. A fumble led to Kealakehe’s only points of the first two quarters, a 25-yard Kean Schutte field goal near the end of the half.
Hilo won the turnover battle 3-2, and after a series of long Aguiar runs, the Vikings ended the game in victory formation near the Kealakehe goal line.
“The beginning of the season it was rough, because we had to build everything back up,” Walker said. “We’re not where we should be, but we’ve definitely improved.”
Maybe not true football bullies on this night, but easily good enough to rule the BIIF again.
Kealakehe 0 3 8 0 – 11
Hilo 10 7 8 0 – 25
Hilo – FG Joshua Rosario 35
Hilo – Kaleo Ramos 1 run (Rosario kick)
Hilo – Guyson Ogata 14 pass from Kyan Miyasato (Rosario kick)
Kealakehe – FG Kean Schutte 25
Hilo – Fiki Aguiar 36 pass from Miyasato (Elijah Apao run)
Kealakehe – Elijah Kahele 26 pass from Jorden Himalaya (Kainoa “Boo” Jones run)