KEALAKEKUA — Fresh off making their biggest statement of the season, Hilo’s fans urged the Vikings to make one more.
“We better hear it loud!” one boisterous Hilo fan yelled as the Vikings lined up for to sing their alma mater.
The Hilo players obliged, but they would have needed a full choir and orchestra to match the level of statement they made on the field Friday night against Konawaena.
Capitalizing on its depth and big plays on both sides of the ball, Hilo blew open a 13-0 game at half to wallop the Wildcats 43-0 in a battle of the BIIF’s Division I elite at Julian Yates Field.
“It’s a quality win,” Hilo coach Kaeo Drummondo said. “Our kids can be proud of this for 48 hours and then turn our attention to Keaau next week.”
Hilo used a well-balanced attack against the Wildcats (4-1), rushing for 161 yards and passing for 144. Vikings quarterback Kyan Miyasato finished 9-of-21 passing with a pair of scoring strikes. He picked up chunks of yardage with some perfectly placed throws, with five of his completions going for 20-plus yards.
Hilo (5-0) went to Lyle Silva early and often to power the ground game, a recently added wrinkle to the offense. Silva helped the Vikings take control with a pair of third quarter TD runs, giving him four scores in two games. He had 76 yards against Konawaena on 18 carries.
Drummondo said he likes the physicality Silva brings, something he also possesses on the defensive side of the ball where he pulls double-duty as a linebacker. But Silva was timid to take any sort of individual credit after his big game — a theme within the Hilo team.
“It’s a brotherhood. We are a family out there,” Silva said, who sported by far the dirtiest jersey of the night, his yellow No. 30 firmly standing out. “We want to play and win for each other. The highlight tonight was just getting to play with my boys. I couldn’t do anything without them.”
While Hilo asserted its dominance as the six-time defending BIIF D-I champ, the final score is deceiving of how close the game was for the majority of the night. In the first half, Hilo was forced to settle for just a pair of Keanu Keolanui field goals, despite having the ball inside the Konawaena 30-yard line four times. They finally found the end zone just before the break, flipping an interception from Kalen White into points when Miyasato found Fiki Aguiar on a 15-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone.
“They’re a good team. I didn’t expect to come out here and run up and down the field,” Drummondo said. “We knew they would give us a lot of resistance, especially with that defensive front. We just had to stay focused, move on to the next play and execute.”
“We needed a four quarter game. Our kids needed the reps and just to be in this situation,” he added. “I expect Konawaena to come back and be competitive.”
Konawaena head coach Brad Uemoto made no excuses after the lopsided loss. But he knows his team can and will play better.
“We fell behind and we got a little desperate. I got a little more aggressive with the play calling, we turned the ball over more than we would have liked and attrition got to us on defense,” Uemoto said. “Hilo is physical and athletic, just as advertised. We just have to raise our level of play. At the end of the day, we feel we can compete with Hilo but we have to match their intensity.”
Konawaena quarterback Kainoa “Boo” Jones racked up 194 yards on 12-of-31 passing with three interceptions.
The teams will meet against at Wong Stadium on Oct. 25 to close out the regular season and there’s a chance that the series turns into a trilogy if they maintain their current tracks and finish as the top two teams in league play.
“We are just at the halfway point,” Drummondo said. “There’s a lot of football left.”
Hilo 3 10 20 10 — 43
Konawaena 0 0 0 0 — 0
HILO — Keanu Keolanui 27-yard field goal
HILO — Keolanui 32-yard field goal
HILO — Kyan Miyasato 15-yard pass to Fiki Aguiar (kick good)
HILO — Lyle Silva 1-yard run (kick failed)
HILO — Silva 10-yard run (kick good)
HILO — Miyasato 19-yard pass to Aguiar (kick good)
HILO — Kilohana Haasenritter 4-yard run (kick good)
HILO — Keolanui 25-yard field goal