Hilo Rushes Past Kea`au in BIIF DI Semifinal
Tristan Spikes stole the show on Hilo High School’s senior night.
The junior running back ran for 272 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings defeated Kea`au 41-26 in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I semifinals Friday night.
Spikes’ season-high night was a major factor in Hilo’s dominant ground attack. The Vikings rushed for 361 yards in the first half and 423 for the game. Spikes had crossed the 200-yard mark before the first half ended.
Spikes’ first touchdown run, an 83-yard sprint through the middle of the Kea`au defense, came on his first carry of the game with 5:20 left in the first quarter. The Vikings took a 14-6 lead on that score.
On the Vikings’ next drive, Spikes rattled off a 23-yard run to get Hilo into its opponents’ territory. Two plays later, quarterback Donovan Kelley burned the Cougars’ defense with a 43-yard touchdown run to put Hilo ahead 21-6 with 1:33 remaining in the first quarter.
After Kea`au couldn’t put together a scoring drive in Hilo territory, the Vikings raced down the field once again, thanks to Spikes. He picked up a 33-yard run down the right sideline to get the Vikings back in Kea`au territory. Two plays later in a driving rain, Spikes slipped off of Kea`au defenders to glide into the endzone from 25 yards away to extend the Hilo lead to 28-6 with 8:53 remaining in the first half.
Spikes’ third touchdown run came on the second play of the fourth quarter when he scored from 10 yards out to give Hilo a 41-12 lead with 11:29 left in the game.
Hilo (9-1 overall, 8-0 BIIF) started the scoring on the opening play from scrimmage. After a short Kea`au kickoff, Kelley called his own number and dashed 55 yards to the end zone to put Hilo up by seven in the game’s first 20 seconds.
Kelley rushed for 82 yards on 12 carries.
Kea`au (1-7, 1-7) initially issued a quick challenge to Hilo’s initial score. The Cougars drove down the field on an 11 play, 81 yard drive that was finished off by a 36-yard touchdown pass from George Lucas-Tadeo to Usti Koga. The extra point from Richard Hatori-Kanakaole missed, keeping Hilo ahead 7-6 with 7:10 remaining in the opening quarter.
Lucas-Tadeo completed 15 of his 33 passing attempts for 303 yards with four tochdowns, three of them to Koga, and two interceptions. Both of his interceptions came in the second half.
Koga, a tall senior receiver that showed off a leap that could dominate a rebounding battle on the basketball court, caught nine passes for 180 yards.
Hilo’s rushing success was not kept to Kelley and Spikes. Another junior, Sione Atuekaho, added a big run of his own with a 34-yard option run to put Hilo ahead 34-6 with 6:50 remaining in the first half.
Both teams were sloppy in the second half. Kelley’s attempted pitch to Spikes on Hilo’s first drive of the second half was too low and recovered by Kea`au defender Justin Quesada. On the ensuing drive, Lucas-Tadeo tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Jared Makaweo-Quihano to cut Hilo’s lead to 34-12 with 8:31 remaining in the first half.
Makaweo-Quihano, a former quarterback at Kea`au, caught four passes for 85 yards.
The game turned ugly with 6:41 remaining in the third quarter. Lucas-Tadeo’s intended pass down the left sideline was intercepted by Hilo’s Kui Mortensen. Mortensen landed hard on the ground after incidental contact and shoving and arguing ensued. Both sidelines raced to the situation at the Hilo five-yard line and a large circle of players formed before coaches and officials could break it up. At least two parents also went on the field during the incident. One had to be told by Hilo athletic director Sondra Lundvick to leave the field minutes later.
Play was halted for more than 10 minutes while officials sorted out punishment and coaches settled down their teams. Two players were ejected, one from each team.
The popular connection between Lucas-Tadeo and Koga continued in the fourth quarter. Both connected for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 3:59 remaining to cut Hilo’s lead to 41-18. On the next drive, the two hooked up for a 12-yard touchdown completion to cut the score down to 41-26 with 35 seconds left to go.
Hilo will host the BIIF Division I championship game on Sat., Nov. 2. The Vikings will host either Kealakehe or Waiakea for the league’s only spot in the First Hawaiian Bank / HHSAA Football Championships.
Kealakehe hosts Waiakea Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
Kea`au 6 0 6 14 – 26
Hilo 21 13 0 7 – 41
1st (7:10) – KEAAU: George Lucas-Tadeo 36 yd TD pass to Usti Koga (Richard Hatori-Kanakaole XPT missed)
1st (5:20) – HILO: Tristan Spikes 83 yd TD run (Takayesu XPT good)
1st (1:33) – HILO: Kelley 43 yd TD run (Takayesu XPT good)
2nd (8:53) – HILO: Spikes 25 yd TD run (Takayesu XPT good)
2nd (6:50) – HILO: Sione Atuekaho 34 yd TD run (Takayesu XPT failed)
3rd (8:31) – KEAAU: George Lucas-Tadeo 39 yd TD pass to Jared Makaweo-Quihano (2PT run failed)
4th (11:39) – HILO: Spikes 10 yd TD run (Takayesu XPT good)
4th (3:59) – KEAAU: Lucas-Tadeo 13 yd TD pass to Koga (2PT run failed)