Kealakehe Rumbles into BIIF DI Title Game

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Football coaches across the Big Island Interscholastic Federation know about how tough Kealakehe’s defense has been all season long.

Add in the effects of a physical offensive line and a dominant running game, and you have Kealakehe’s recipe for success. All pieces came together in the Waveriders’ 50-8 victory over Kea’au, clinching a spot in next Saturday’s BIIF Division I championship game against second-seeded Hilo.

Kealakehe (8-3 overall, 7-1 BIIF) racked up 284 yards of total offense in the game, with 125 of those yards coming in the first quarter alone. The Waverider defense helped to dictate the tone of the game, holding Kea’au to minus-74 yards rushing and 64 yards of total offense.

Before any of that became a factor in the game, Kealakehe opened the game with a quick bang. Riggs Kurashige returned the opening kickoff from Kea’au’s Dreq Agliam 49 yards to the Cougars’ 31 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Markus Degrate perfectly ran a play-action fake, with the end result a 31-yard completion to Akoni Demello for the opening score of the game.

Kurashige and Kobe Antolin each added touchdown runs to push the lead up to 21-0 by the end of the first quarter. Kurashige racked up 77 yards all on his own on nine carries in the quarter. He finished the game with 129 yards on 16 carries.

The second quarter featured much of the same. Kealakehe rumbled down the field for 169 yards in that period, featuring rushing scores by Mason Kaawa-Loa and Demello. Degrate also got in the act with a touchdown pass to Anthony Trevino that had extended the lead to 36-0 with 3:57 remaining in the first half. It put the game out of reach, even with a Kea’au touchdown reception by Agliam at the end of the half, as the Waveriders took a 35-point advantage into the locker room.


Kea’au quarterback Dillon Santos completed eight of his 16 passing attempts for 130 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked, however, six times, and he couldn’t finish the game after he took a hard hit in the fourth quarter after releasing a pass over the middle, which was caught by Damien Scandrick.

Defensively, Styrus Mercado-Silva recovered two fumbles for Kea’au.

Kealakehe will host Hilo on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Waveriders defeated Hilo in double overtime on Oct. 2 by the score of 30-29. Hilo, however, has won the last two league championship games.

#4 Kea’au 0 8 0 0 – 8

#1 Kealakehe 21 22 7 0 – 50


Scoring summary

First quarter

KEAL (11:38) – Akoni Demello 31 yard reception from Markus Degrate (Kolby Martin kick)

KEAL (7:11) – Riggs Kurashige 14 yard run (Martin kick)

KEAL (2:41) – Kobe Antolin 1 yard run (Martin kick)


Second quarter

KEAL (6:57) – Mason Kaawa-Loa 1 yard run (Martin kick)

KEAL (3:37) – Anthony Trevino 27 yard reception from Degrate (Isaiah Filoteo run)

KEAL (:12) – Demello 5 yard run (Martin kick)

KEAA (:00) – Dreq Agliam 55 yard reception from Dillon Santos (Santos run)

Third quarter

KEAL (8:44) – Kurashige 2 yard run (Martin kick)

BIIF football scoreboard

Division II semifinal: #1 Kamehameha-Hawai’i 57, #4 Hawai’i Preparatory Academy 22

Division I semifinal: #2 Hilo 35, #3 Waiakea 0

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