Kell’s Four Touchdowns Leads Hilo to 2nd Seed
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by Josh Pacheco
With the second seed in the Division I BIIF football tournament at stake, Hilo’s offense rebounded from a frustrating loss to Kealakehe with over 350 yards of offense in a 38-21 win over Waiakea.
The win gave Hilo “home field advantage” for next Friday’s semifinal game against Waiakea, which means very little considering both teams, along with Kea`au High School this year, call Wong Stadium home for football. The Warriors finish the regular season as the third best team in the league.
Waiakea (3-6, 2-4) hit the ground running to open the game after winning the coin toss and electing to receive. Less than three minutes into the game, hard-nosed runner Devin Preston bounced to his right and ran away for a 19 yard touchdown run, giving the Warriors a 7-0 lead with 9:08 remaining in the first quarter. Preston rushed for 69 yards on 16 carries.
Hilo (6-2, 4-2) would dampen the homecoming night mood for Waiakea by getting their offense in gear. Tristan Spikes raced right through the middle of the defense for a 30 yard touchdown run to tie the game with 5:11 remaining in the quarter. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Drew Kell found Jacob Genegabus for a one yard touchdown, pushing Hilo to a 14-7 lead over Waiakea with 11:56 remaining in the half.
Kell would contribute with his legs on the next series, closing out a drive with a five yard touchdown run to extend the Vikings lead to 21-7 with 7:42 left in the second quarter.
The Warriors would not go away easily. Kayed Rodrigues, starting at quarterback in place of Kean Wong, threw a dart to slot receiver Jaden Segovia, who outran the Hilo defense to the endzone for a 30 yard touchdown connection to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 2:25 remaining in the half. Segovia was making his season debut Friday after breaking his foot over the summer, according to Waiakea head coach Fred Lau.
The Vikings picked it back up in the third quarter when Kell and Genegabus connected for their second touchdown, this time from 11 yards out. A bad snap kept Keola Miller from kicking the extra point, and Hilo’s lead would climb to 27-14 with 5:22 remaining.
Two plays later, Rodrigues showed off his improved arm by completing a precision deep pass down the right sideline to Dayton Kiko. The 60 yard touchdown got Waiakea right back within six at 27-21 with 4:27 left in the third.
The Vikings would not take long to put the game back out of reach. On their next drive and faced with a goal-to-go situation, Kell escaped pressure by rolling to his left. As soon as he had a free half-a-second, Kell tossed a pass to the left flat and found Tyler Higa-Gonsalves, who walked into the endzone for a four yard touchdown. A failed two point conversion made the score 33-21 with 2:32 left in the third frame.
After a Waiakea turnover, Hilo got the ball back, but couldn’t move it, so Keola Miller punted the ball away and got it to stop at Waiakea’s own one yard line. Two plays later, the Warriors would call a pass play with Rodrigues rolling out to his right. Hilo’s Isi Holani, however, would not let him leave the endzone, taking him down for a safety to extend the lead to 35-21 with 1:47 left in the third period. A Miller 24 yard field goal ended the scoring with 9:31 remaining in the game to make the final 38-21.
Kell rebounded from a tough performance against Kealakehe by completing 17 of 31 pass attempts for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the interception he threw to Kiko off of a high throw, Kell was mostly on target throughout the evening. He also had 51 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Spikes had 67 yards rushing on 11 carries to lead the Vikings. Genegabus had four catches for 96 yards.
Rodrigues started at quarterback for Waiakea because normal starter Kean Wong was at a baseball clinic in Arizona. The junior passer has started various games over the past few seasons and held his own throughout much of Friday’s contest. He went 8-of-13 for 176 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Kiko, catching two passes for 86 yards, was his leading receiver.
Next friday’s semifinal will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com. The winner will face either Kea`au or Kealakehe on Saturday, October 27 for the league championship.
Hilo 7 14 14 3 – 38
Waiakea 7 7 7 0 – 21
1st (9:08) – WAIAKEA: Devin Preston 19 yd TD run (Dayton Kiko XPT good)
1st (5:11) – HILO: Tristan Spikes 30 yd TD run (Keola Miller XPT good)
2nd (11:56) – HILO: Drew Kell 1 yd TD pass to Jason Genegabus (Miller XPT good)
2nd (7:32) – HILO: Kell 5 yd TD run (Miller XPT good)
2nd (2:25) – WAIAKEA: Kayed Rodrigues 30 yd TD pass to Jaden Segovia (Kiko XPT good)
3rd (5:22) – HILO: Kell 11 yd TD pass to Genegabus (XPT failed)
3rd (4:27) – WAIAKEA: Rodrigues 60 yd TD pass to Kiko (Kiko XPT good)
3rd (2:32) – HILO: Kell 4 yd TD pass to Tyler Higa Gonsalves (2-PT run failed)
3rd (1:47) – HILO: Isi Holani safety
4th (9:31) – HILO: Miller 24 yd field goal
Kealakehe 53, Kea`au 0
The Waveriders (8-1, 6-0) dominated on Friday night against the Cougars (0-8, 0-6) in a preview of next Saturday’s Division I semifinal contest from Waverider Stadium in Kailua-Kona. The game was highlighted by a 65 yard touchdown run from 348-pound running back David Fangupo in the first quarter, and the Waveriders never turned of the jets in their most dominating victory of the season.
Kea`au 0 0 0 0 – 0
Kealakehe 14 19 14 6 – 53
Konawaena 91, Ka`u 8
According to ScoringLive.com, the 91 points scored by the Wildcats (6-4, 6-1) was the second most points scored in a game in the history of Hawaii high school football. Li`i Karratti threw for seven touchdowns, completing nine of his 12 passes for 309 yards. The under-manned Trojans (1-6, 1-6), however, scored for the second consecutive game this season.
Konawaena 35 35 14 7 – 91
Ka’u 0 8 0 0 – 8