Hilo Rallies for OT Win Over KS-Hawai`i
Statistics normally tell you that a team shouldn’t win when committing eight turnovers in a game. Then again, numbers don’t always account for special teams and defense.
Hilo High School’s defense and special team made plays that were necessary in the second half to overcome a 13 point deficit at intermission. The Vikings defeated Kamehameha-Hawai`i in overtime by the final score of 27-20 in front of a crowded house at Wong Stadium.
Hilo (3-0 overall, 2-0 Big Island Interscholastic Federation) started its comeback as soon as the second half started. Down 20-7, Donovan Kelley, known as a big play producer the last few seasons, came up with an 84-yard kickoff return to the end zone to cut KS-Hawai`i’s lead to 20-13.
Hilo’s defense followed Kelley’s lead. After giving up 232 yards of offense in the first half, 207 through the air, the Vikings held KS-Hawai`i quarterback Micah Kanehailua to just 70 yards of passing in the second half and overtime and only 104 yards of total offense the rest of the game.
In order to complete the comeback, the Vikings needed their two biggest playmakers to come through.
Quarterback Sione Atuekaho, who threw three interceptions in the first half, didn’t throw a single pass for the first 17 minutes of the second half. With the Warriors starting to catch on to the running game, however, Atuekaho was asked to throw the football down the field. He completed three straight passes, rounded off with a 23-yard completion to Cohlby Espaniola to tie the game at 20-20 with 5:47 left to play.
Atuekaho completed nine of his 21 passing attempts for 154 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. He also was involved in two lost fumbles.
Both teams threw a pair of interceptions in the final four minutes of regulation, sending the game into overtime.
Hilo received the ball first in overtime, and drove down to the two-yard line before Atuekaho got injured on a second down running play. The Vikings brought in backup quarterback Nainoa Kawailima, but he lined up next to Tristin Spikes, who took the next two snaps before punching the ball in for a one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal to give Hilo a 27-20 advantage.
Spikes picked up his third 100-yard rushing game in as many games this season. He carried the ball 25 times for 114 yards and the overtime score. Last season’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year in Division I is averaging 126.6 yards on the ground per game this season.
Needing to score to either stay alive or win, Kamehameha-Hawai`i quickly got a first down on its second play of OT when quarterback Micah Kanehailua found James Sloan, but a Hilo defender knocked the ball out of Sloan’s hands as he went to the ground, and Ofa Fahiua recovered the fumble to end the game.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i (1-1, 1-1) rode the hot hand of Kanehailua, a senior who gained valuable experience at the Manning Passing Academy over the summer. He completed 10 consecutive passes at one point in the game and went 26-for-49 for 277 yards with a pair of touchdowns and interceptions.
Down 7-6 late in the second quarter, Kanehailua orchestrated a seven play, 91-yard drive that was capped off with a sensational 50-yard touchdown grab by Grant Shiroma to give the Warriors a 14-7 lead with 1:13 remaining in the half.
After an interception by Caleb Baptiste, the Warriors got the ball back at Hilo’s 41-yard-line and quickly scored when Kanehailua found Bayley Manliguis for an 18-yard touchdown strike, putting the Warriors ahead 20-7 with 16 seconds left in the first half.
Manliguis has quickly become a favorite target for Kanehailua this season. Manliguis hauled in 10 passes Friday night for 90 yards. On the season, the junior receiver has 14 catches for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i faces another Division I foe next Friday when it hosts Kealakehe at Paiea Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. following the junior varsity contest. The game will be aired at ESPNHawaii.com
Hilo will travel to Honoka`a next Friday to face the Dragons. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Kamehameha-Hawai`i 6 14 0 0 0 – 20
Hilo 7 0 6 7 7 – 27
KSH (1:19) – Chase Peneku 15 yd TD run (2PT conversion failed)
HILO (9:40) – Keaho Kaawa 30 yd TD reception from Sione Atuekaho (Rayce Takayesu XPT good)
KSH (1:13) – Grant Shiroma 50 yd TD reception from Micah Kanehailua (Kanehailua to Iaea 2PT good)
KSH (:16) – Bayley Manliguis 18 yd TD reception from Kanehailua (2PT failed)
HILO (11:45) – Donovan Kelley 84 yd kickoff return for TD (XPT failed)
HILO (5:47) – Cohlby Espaniola 23 yd TD reception from Atuekaho (Takayesu XPT good)
HILO – Tristin Spikes 1 yd TD run (Takayesu XPT good)
Hilo 27, Kamehameha-Hawai`i 20 (overtime)
Konawaena 36, Kea`au 7
Seabury Hall 61, Ka`u 40 (8-man)