Salanoa-Alo Wily scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 2-yard run with 2:34 remaining and Kahuku scored 20 unanswered points to come from behind and defeat Hilo 20-10 in the opening round of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships on Friday night.
Playing in the opening round for the first time since the Division I format split to six teams in 2004, Kahuku trailed 10-0 at halftime.
The Red Raiders moved senior Siotame Uluave from tackle to center in the second half and ran it right at Hilo to hand the Vikings (10-1) their only loss of the season.
Kahuku (9-2) will play undefeated and top-seeded Punahou in the semifinals next Saturday at Aloha Stadium.
Hilo threw two fourth-quarter interceptions and missed out on becoming the first BIIF team to win a state Division I playoff game, dropping the league to 0-16.
An Alohi Gilman interception set up Kahuku’s first touchdown on the next play as Wily broke multiple tackles in the backfield and somehow made it through the middle and out wide for a 25-yard TD run with 7:43 remaining.
Kahuku played without starting quarterback Tuli Wily-Matagi and running back Kesi Ah-Hoy.
Sione Atuekaho threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Lerma and Rayce Takayesu made a 29-yard field goal to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead at halftime.
Kahuku ended a scoreless drought that had reached over 70 minutes of game time when Gabriel Pinheiro-Alves kicked a 26-yard field goal with 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Pinheiro-Alves iced it with a 31-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining.