BIIF Football
Hilo wins 7th straight title with big 2nd half


  



Sat, Nov 2, 2019 @ Wong Stadium [ 7:00 pm ]


Final 1 2 3 4 T
KONA (8-4-0) 0 6 6 618
HILO (12-0-0) 0 7 28 742
Pass: Kyan Miyasato (HILO) 297 yd 5 TD
Rush: Lyle Silva (HILO) 43 yd
Rec: Guyson Ogata (HILO) 143 yd 3 TD

HILO, Hawaii — A humid Saturday night at Wong Stadium had many people sweating on the Hilo sideline during the first half of the BIIF Division I championship game.

No, it wasn't because of the heat. It was because the fifth-ranked Vikings were facing their first test of adversity this season.

And boy did they respond.

Hilo broke open a 7-6 halftime score with a 28-point third quarter to claim its seventh straight league title with a 42-18 win over upset-minded Konawaena.

The championship win also punched the Vikings' ticket to the five-team D1 state tournament, which begins on Nov. 15. Hilo (12-0 overall, 11-0 league), who earned the No. 1 seed in the tourney, will host the winner between Baldwin and Leilehua on Nov. 23.

"It feels great. A lot of hard work was put into this," said senior quarterback Kyan Miyasato, who threw four of his five touchdown passes in the third quarter.

Hilo QB Kyan Miyasato, threw for 297 yards and five touchdowns, directs the offense in the first quarter. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Saturday night was the third meeting between the two teams, with Hilo winning the first two games by scores of 43-0 and 45-7, the latter of which took place just eight days prior.

Even though the Vikings had convincing victories over the Wildcats during the regular season, Miyasato knew the third matchup wouldn't be a cakewalk in the winner-take-all final.

"Before the game, the week coming into this game, a lot of people were asking me 'who do you guys play after Konawaena? I tell them 'we still have to get past Konawaena first. We played them two times and I'm sure the third time they're going to come out, watching all our film and scouting us inch by inch,'" said Miyasato, a four-year varsity player.

The Wildcats (8-4 overall, 8-3 league) proved Miyasato's words true from the get go.

Konawaena got off a huge pass play on its opening drive and forced a three-and-out on the Vikings' first series of the game. The Wildcats also forced a fumble on the first play of Hilo's second possession and sniffed out a fake punt later in the first quarter.

Things started to bear fruit for Konawaena when Boo Jones took a quarterback keeper to the Hilo 19 to convert fourth down. After an incomplete pass and a 1-yard loss, Jones lobbed a pass down the left side to Marc Basa to give Konawaena a 6-0 lead with 5:20 to play in the first half.

Hilo managed to take the lead at the break however.

The Vikings pinned Konawaena at the 1-yard line, which led to a punt from the back of the Wildcats' end zone that gave Hilo great field position late in the second quarter. A number of penalties stymied the drive, but Miyasato was able to hook up with Kilohana Haasenritter for a 29-yard score. Keanu Keolanui booted the go-ahead PAT to send the Vikings into the locker room with a 7-6 lead.

Then the floodgates broke open for the Vikings' offense.

On Hilo's first offensive snap of the second half, Miyasato found slotback Guyson Ogata for a 58-yard TD down the left sideline. The duo connected again on the next series on a 56-yard pass to make it a 21-6 game two minutes into the third quarter.

Konawaena stopped the bleeding when Joseph Roback recovered a blocked punt in the end zone to make it 21-12 with 7:59 showing on the third-quarter scoreboard, but a 37-yard TD pass to Kaimi Tiogangco and an 18-yard scoring strike to Ogata gave the Vikings a 35-12 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

"We fought through a lot of adversity," said Miyasato. "The Konawaena coaches adjusted really good. We just noticed some things, put the routes where they weren't, put the ball were they weren't and we scored."

With Konawaena locking up the Vikings' wideouts, Hilo turned to its inside receivers to make plays.

Ogata was the beneficiary of the adjustment, garnering his best game of the year with seven receptions for 143 yards. His first two TD receptions in the third quarter both came on a corner route towards the left sideline with Konawaena keying on Fiki Aguiar, the reigning All-BIIF D1 Offensive Player of the Year, on the hitch route.

Haasenritter also had a season-high seven receptions as the slot receiver on the right side.

"They found something and they executed. We just gave up a couple of quick scores and they turned the momentum," said Konawaena coach Brad Uemoto.

"We had to pick our poison. Miyasato threw to his wideouts all year and those slots were fairly quiet during the season and all of a sudden, they found them. What could we do at that point. We're trying to defend four great receivers and they got us."

Aguiar padded Hilo's lead in the fourth quarter when he took a direct snap in for a 2-yard TD run.

A 61-yard TD pass to Kaden Baptista from Jones with 4:19 left in regulation provided the final points of the night.



Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].


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