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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