Hilo High’s first explosive football play came on a screen. Kyan Miyasato waited for Kilohana Haasenritter to slip out for a short pass, and with Kealakehe defenders engaged elsewhere, Haasenritter cut through the middle of the field and did the rest.
Then came the check-down. Miyasato’s first two targets were covered, so near his goal line he dumped the ball off to Kaimi Tiogangco on a crossing rout, and Tiogangco outran everyone else down the right sideline.
It almost wasn’t fair.
Up next, the presnap read. Miyasato diagnosed that the safety wouldn’t be able to cover the right half of the field, and seconds later there was that Tiogangco guy again streaking down the sideline again, ball in hand, after beating his man off the line.
Simple throw and catch.
Lastly, the Vikings took advantage of miscommunication. The corner and safety each were playing the hook or the curl, so Fiki Aguiar went deep and was running free when his quarterback delivered the ball.
The shortest of Miyasato’s four touchdown passes Friday night was 70 yards as Hilo, seemingly armed with a game-breaker for every occasion, broke away from Kealakehe for a 51-21 victory.
Miyasato wouldn’t go as far as to say the Vikings (3-0, 2-0 BIIF Division I) simply had too many playmakers for the Waveriders (1-2, 0-2) to cover.
“We just have to stay focused, hungry and humble,” the senior said, “never get to cocky and think we’re going to blow everyone out.”
His stat line – 12 of 15 for 431 yards, four touchdowns and an interception – was something to gawk about.
But none of the Vikings were biting.
“I want to say that my line did really good today,” Miyasato said. “I was clean all day.”
In the Vikings’ postgame meeting, sophomore defensive lineman Tysen Kaniaupio took a moment to address the team and he did his coach, Kaeo Drummondo, proud.
“All I told (them) was the score doesn’t really matter,” Kaniaupio said, “we just have execute and play at our own level.”
That’s becoming a lofty one, but, Kaniaupio said, “The defense executed great, but we can always do better.”
Hilo never needed to develop a running game, while Kealakehe failed to make much of an impact on the ground, save for Elijah Kahele’s 53-yard run, which set up his second-half touchdown catch after the Vikings went to the break leading 41-7.
Kahele was the Waveriders’ workhorse, carrying the ball 20 times for 93 yards. Quarterback Sheynen Nahale accounted for all three of his team’s scores, finishing 13 of 27 for 116 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“I went in expecting a big challenge,” in the trenches, Kaniaupio said. “(Kealakehe) executed it, but I felt we had more technique.”
Drummondo said his assistants told him early in the game that Kaniaupio was a dominant force, and he was in on at least two of Hilo’s five first-half sacks.
“I’m excited to get the film and look at it,” Drummondo said, “because they said he was doing a great job.”
Hilo faced its first deficit of the season when Kahele took the opening kickoff back to Hilo’s 40, where the Waveriders went on a 10-play drive that, aided by two penalties, was capped by Nahale’s short run.
Elijah Apao answered with a 70-yard kickoff return to Kealakehe’s 7, and two plays later Don Moody punched the ball in to tie the game.
Kealakehe’s next drive was thwarted when Keola Balga intercepted a pass in the end zone, and with that Hilo began its big-play barrage.
“It’s kind of the philosophy that we try to live by offensively,” Drummondo said, “if they are playing tight, we do have athletes that can create separation, so when it’s there we have to try and execute it. Tonight, we were fortunate to execute enough times to get over the top.”
Even with all those flashy skill players, if Kaniaupio was handing out a game ball he sounded as if he might give it to center Kason Abadilla.
Kaniaupio already sounds like a coach, and he definitely listens to his.
“All we try to do is show respect,” he said. “Respect, respect, respect.”
Kealakehe 7 0 7 7– 21
Hilo 14 27 7 3 –51
Kealakehe – Sheynen Nahale 2 run (Kenan Kaeo-Nakashima kick)
Hilo – Don Moody 1 run (Tre Langacker kick)
Hilo – Kilohana Haasenritter 79 pass from Kyan Miyasato (Langacker kick)
Hilo – Haasenritter 5 run (Langacker kick)
Hilo – Kaimi Tiogangco 94 pass from Miyasato (Langacker kick)
Hilo – Tiogangco 70 pass from Miyasato (Langacker kick)
Hilo – Fiki Aguiar 85 pass from Miyasato (pass failed)
Hilo – Kayden Alameda 24 fumble return (Langacker kick)
Kealakehe – Kahele 6 pass from Nahele (Kaeo-Nakashima kick)
Hilo – FG 26 Langacker
Kealakehe – Makana Wagner 5 pass from Nahele (Kaeo-Nakashima kick)