GAME NIGHT 8/12: Hilo 62, ‘Iolani 35, F

'Iolani quarterback Tai-John Mizutani leads the charge for the Raiders on offense this season. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

Reigning BIIF champion Hilo opens its season at Kozuki Stadium on Oahu against ‘Iolani, which is dropping back down to Division II in the ILH this season after spending the last two years in Division I.

Hilo Vikings (0-0)
Head coach: Kaeo Drummondo


‘Iolani Raiders (0-0)
Head coach: Wendell Look, 27th season, 178-129-2
2017 Raiders roster

Hilo 62, ‘Iolani 35, Final

Huddleston finished with 244 rushing yards and four TDs on just 13 carries, adding kickoff returns for 99 and 97 yards to the end zone.

Hilo 62, ‘Iolani 35, 2:03, Q4

Kyler Mento with a 39-yard fumble return to the house for the Raiders.

Hilo 62, ‘Iolani 28, 6:59, Q4

The Raiders drive 65 yards and score on an 11-yard out route, a perfect spiral from Mizutani to Genovia.

Hilo 62, ‘Iolani 21, 1:25, Q3

Huddleston was on the bench at the start of Hilo’s series, then re-entered, was a decoy as the backup QB ran for a short gain. Then he took the ball and ripped through traffic between the hashes for a 31-yard touchdown. That gives him 244 yards and four TDs, plus two more TDs on kickoff returns. Not a bad day.

Hilo 55, ‘Iolani 21, 5:38, Q3

Fumble recovery by Jake Angelo at the Hilo 11 goes for naught. Mizutani’s pass to the goal line goes through the hands of a receiver and is intercepted by Elijah Apo, who returns the ball 32 yards. Next play, HUDDLESTON runs through the left side untouched for a 68-yard TD. He now has 209 rushing yards, three TDs, plus the 99- and 97-yard kick returns for two more TDs. WOHHH.

Hilo 49, ‘Iolani 21, 7:24, Q3

Hilo’s defense showing signs of fatigue in this 90-degree heat as ‘Iolani marches downfield rather easily. Mizutani races to the pylon for a 14-yard TD untouched.

Hilo 49, ‘Iolani 14, 10:51, Q3

There. He. Goes. Again. It’s Mr. Huddleston slicing up the middle, cutting to the left sideline and scoring on a 97-yard touchdown on the kick return. That’s back-to-back kickoff returns to the house, along with two rushing TDs (141 yards so far). Have mercy.

Hilo 42, ‘Iolani 14, 11:07, Q3

After a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Mizutani launches a bomb to Carter Kamana, a 6-foot sophomore, right in stride down the left sideline for an 80-yard TD.

Hilo 42, ‘Iolani 7, 11:44, Q3

There he goes again. Huddleston returns the opening kickoff of the second half 99 yards for a touchdown. His backward momentum took him behind the goal line, which normally is ruled a touchback, but there was no whistle. Two-point PAT pushes the lead to 35. Mercy rule will be in effect.

Hilo 34, ‘Iolani 7, Half

It’s been all Hilo even though for a moment or two there in the first quarter it seemed like ‘Iolani had the Viks on their heels. Mizutani struggled to complete passes, but after a defending holding and pass interference call on back-to-back plays, there seemed to be momentum. Instead, Hilo’s defense has continued to bring pressure without having to sacrifice coverage. After a 1-for-8 start, Mizutani is 7-for-17, 80 yards. But more importantly, the balanced offense isn’t there. The Raiders have 26 rushing yards on nine carries.

Justin Genovia, one of the state’s top receivers, has had to battle for four grabs for 43 yards. Hilo has prepared well in every aspect. Huddleston has 141 rushing yards on nine carries. Apao has carried most of the time since the second quarter began and now has 70 yards on 11 rushing attempts. Through the air, he is 7-for-8, 107 yards, one TD and no turnovers. It’s almost a picture-perfect first half by the BIIF powerhouse.

Hilo 34, ‘Iolani 7, 2:09, Q2

Hilo really slows the tempo in the second quarter, eating up nearly 9 minutes on an 18-play, 85-yard march. When the Viks called time out late in the first quarter, it was clearly to get water to their defense. Smart move to kill clock with the big lead, then get into the air-conditioned lockerroom (?) at halftime. The Viks are physical and fast, major advantage in size. Normally, that doesn’t stop the Raiders from competing, but that 9-minute possession really puts added pressure on ‘Iolani.

Hilo 27, ‘Iolani 7, 1:17, Q1

The Viks strike again. This time it’s a slightly methodical drive, with QB Kaleo Apao spinning out of the grasp of defenders to run for a key first down. Next play, a 28-yard pass from Apao to Guyson Ogata, wide open on the post.

Hilo 20, ‘Iolani 7, 4:42, Q1

The Raiders get on the scoreboard despite a sack by the Vikings. Kaua Nishigaya broke free for a couple of nice runs of 19 and 13 yards, setting up a 24-yard, fourth-down TD pass from Mizutani to Justin Genovia. Clutch. This could be one of those crazy pinball-machine games. The sun is only getting hotter down here.

Hilo 20, ‘Iolani 0, 6:43, Q1

Huddleston is looking like Marshall Faulk playing UH back in the day. His third touch of the game is a 79-yard sprint up the hashmark. He sliced through the secondary on guys who had angles on him. That’s a two-play drive, 90 yards. WOW.

Hilo 13, ‘Iolani 0, 9:37, Q1

‘Iolani’s first play from scrimmage after Hilo’s TD is a pick-6 by linebacker Isaac Liu. The senior read the play-action perfectly and sprinted home 30 yards for the score.

Hilo 6, ‘Iolani 0, 9:54, Q1

Hilo’s in all-white with shiny royal blue helmets and playing like kings so far. Their D sacked Ty-John Mizutani on third down, three and out for ‘Iolani on the opening series. Then just three plays for the Viking offense to reach paydirt. Kahale Huddleston rumbles in right down the middle, a 26-yard TD run.


Sunny with almost no clouds, a decent breeze 5-15 mph but it’s all warm and smothering heat down in Moiliili.


  1. BG August 12, 2017 5:08 pm

    Where are all the whiners about ‘Iolani being in the D2 now?

  2. Jon August 12, 2017 5:16 pm

    HUDDELSTON looked like a McCaffery on the field. 1 maybe 2 cuts and BURST to the house. All Stater type talent. Hilo looked mid season form today. Great showing from those Hilo kids.

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