BIIF football: Second half surge pushes Vikings past ‘Riders

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HILO — If Kahale Huddleston’s first half was average — by his lofty standards — for Hilo, his scintillating third quarter was anything but that.

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HILO — If Kahale Huddleston’s first half was average — by his lofty standards — for Hilo, his scintillating third quarter was anything but that.

It was almost good enough for Huddleston to reach his even-loftier touchdown average.

The standout senior running back ran for three touchdowns Saturday night to break open a tie game at halftime, and the Vikings broke away from Kealakehe 42-29 at Wong Stadium to secure home-field advantage in the BIIF Division I football championship game.

Quarterback Kaleo Apao, the other member of Hilo’s big-play backfield, also accounted for three touchdowns, and the four-time BIIF champion Vikings (6-1 BIIF, 7-1) forced the game’s only three turnovers.

When the teams reconvene at Wong with the title on the line Oct. 22, the Waveriders (4-3 BIIF, 4-6) will look to duplicate a first-half effort in which they largely kept Huddleston — who has five four-touchdown games to his credit — in check.

The third quarter was a different story, and Huddleston rolled up 195 yards overall on the ground as Kealakehe began to wear down, which saw a four-game winning streak end.

Anthony “Head” Trevino subbed in at quarterback for the Waveriders and accounted for three touchdowns — two came after Hilo opened a 42-14 lead. The senior threw for 161 yards, including scoring strikes to Kalani Piltz and Koari’i Atkinson-Sioloa, and added 91 yards on the ground

The teams combined to score touchdowns on three consecutive plays in the first quarter, with Bryton Lewi’s 91-yard kickoff return for Kealakehe sandwiched in between Apao’s 69 yard pass to Guyson Ogata and Apao’s 80-yard scamper.

Hilo was opportunistic in the second half, and it rode Huddleston.

Elijah Apao’s long punt return set up Huddleston’s first touchdown, a 35-yard run, giving Hilo the lead for good. Kalen White’s fumble recovery led to Huddleston’s third score from 36 yards out — he had a 46-yard TD run in between — and Isaac Liu came up with the Vikings’ final turnover on an interception. Hilo capitalized when Kaleo Apao plowed in from 2 yards out.

The first half was tight as Kealakehe’s defense was up to the challenge.

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Hilo came up with the first turnover of the game when White intercepted Michael “Kekoa” Ilagan-LeBlanc, but after allowing a couple of first downs Kealakehe snuffed out the drive by stuffing Apao on fourth-and-1 and its 18.

Trevino came in the game at quarterback and Waveriders moved the ball for the first time on their fifth drive. The senior hit Piltz for 55 yards on third-and-long, and the two hooked up again on third down from Hilo’s 19, this time for a touchdown, sending the game to the half tied at 14.