KAILUA-KONA — The numbers are downright gaudy this season for Hilo, no matter which way you slice it — whether it’s the Vikings historically potent offense that’s averaging just a shade under 60 points, or the team’s notoriously stingy defense, that has shutout seven of nine BIIF opponents this season.
But even by the Vikings lofty standards, converting on a 1st-and-53 in the first half against Kealakehe on Saturday was a new level of absurd.
Backed up by multiple penalties, Hilo was forced to start the late second half drive deep in their own territory. A few big plays later and the Viks were in the end zone, up 35-0 against their Division I rival with Kilohana Haasenritter nabbing his third touchdown of the night from quarterback Kyan Miyasato.
“We have been working on it, all our routes — back shoulder, fades,” said Haasenritter, a University of Hawaii commit. “That chemistry is there and he knows where I’ll be and where to put it.”
He smiled when asked about the score, which was an athletic grab with a defender in tight coverage.
“Oh yeah,” Haasenritter said. “The hat trick.”
Hilo went on to beat the Waveriders 51-0 behind a well-rounded performance in all three phases of the game, remaining a perfect 9-0 this season in BIIF play.
Miyasato hit on 11 of his first 12 passes and finished the night with 222 yards and five touchdowns. Lyle Silva provided the spark in the run game, running for a bruising 124 yards and Guyson Ogata scored a pair of touchdowns for the Viks — one rushing and one receiving.
On defense, the Vikings posted another shutout and stymied the Waveriders all night. Kealakehe finished with 129 yards of offense — 128 of that coming on three long pass plays.
“We came here wanting to play a total team-effort type of game in all three phases,” Hilo head coach Kaeo Drummondo said. “We tell the boys, anytime you are on the road, we have to be excited about it and bring enthusiasm because it will be a tough environment. I’m happy with the way we travelled and the way we executed our stuff.”
Special teams can’t be forgotten in that equation. Masila Siua hit a late field goal to close out the scoring and the Vikings kickoff coverage team pegged Kealakehe well inside its own 20 multiple times.
“That’s our scheme and what we practice when we rep kickoff,” Drummondo said. “They take pride in things like that. When we talk about executing, those are the kind of results we are looking for.”
Hilo has what is likely a record point-differential, outscoring opponents 524-27 this season. The Viks have only allowed one offensive score since Aug. 30.
So with such lopsided wins, how do they stay focused to keep on improving through the year?
“It’s about staying humble and hungry. You enjoy the win for 24 hours, and then it’s over,” Drummondo said. “We have goals and standards, but for us it’s not about what happens on Fridays and Saturdays. We have goals and standards Monday through Thursday.”
Standout Hilo linebacker Kainalu Lewis echoed his coaches sentiment.
“Everyday we have a high level of competition in practice with each other and treat it like a championship week,” Lewis said. “It’s about doing your job and executing one play at a time. We all just motivate each other to come out with these wins.”
Next up for Hilo is the first of two matchups against Konawaena — the first to close out the regular season and the second for the BIIF title game, which the teams have already secured their spots in. The Wildcats could snatch back home field, but it would require a 44-0 victory. Hilo won the first matchup 43-0 at Julian Yates field on Sept. 20.
“We are going to play the game, but I don’t expect either team to show too much. For us, we have to be smart about staying injury free,” Drummondo said. “Nothing you can do about it — the schedule just played out how it did. But maybe Konawaena will come out and try to get a 44-0 win and take back home field. We have to be prepared and just keep working hard.”
Kealakehe (5-4) played without All-BIIF starting running back Elijah Kahele and were missing starting quarterback Sheynen Nahale for most of the game after he was injured in the first half. The Waveriders will wrap up their season against winless Waiakea on Saturday.
Hilo 28 7 6 10 — 51
Kealakehe 0 0 0 0 — 0
HILO — Guyson Ogata 1-yard run (kick failed)
HILO — Kyan Miyasato 30-yard pass (2-pt failed)
HILO — Miyasato 25-yard pass to Kilohana Haasenritter (kick good)
HILO — Safety
HILO — Miyasato 3-yard pass to Haasenritter (kick good)
HILO — Miyasato 7-yard pass to Haasenritter (kick good)
HILO — Miyasato 22-yard pass to Fiki Aguiar (kick failed)
HILO — Ricky Mamone 27-yard pass to Ogata (kick good)
HILO — Masila Siua 22-yard FG