Hilo wins Big Island’s first state football championship
December 17, 2017 | 71° | Check Traffic

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Hilo wins Big Island’s first state football championship

  • STEVEN ERLER / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

    Hilo’s Kainalu Tioganco sprinted for extra yards during the first half against Damien.

Hilo senior Kahale Huddleston rushed for two touchdowns and quarterback Kaleo Apao threw for two scores and ran for another in the Vikings’ 35-19 win over Damien on Saturday night in the Division I final of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA State Football Championships at Aloha Stadium.

Hilo (10-1) forced three turnovers to claim the Big Island’s first state football title in the 18 years of the tournament.

Damien’s Akila Arecchi returned the opening kickoff 96 yards on a reverse for a touchdown and quarterback Marcus Faufata-Pedrina’s 1-yard TD run gave the Monarchs (10-4) a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.

Hilo outscored Damien 35-6 the rest of the way and held the Monarchs to 118 total yards in the second half.

Huddleston gave the Vikings their first lead of the game at 14-13 on a 12-yard TD run in the second quarter. It was his 35th touchdown of the season.

Apao added a 22-yard run with 58 seconds remaining in the half and threw touchdown passes of 5 yards to Kainalu Tioganco and 21 yards to Makana Kanehailua in the second half.

Micah Bello led Hilo with 11 tackles and a forced fumble. Shiloh Kaeo had a game-high 15 tackles for Damien, the three-time defending ILH champion.

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