UPDATE: This story is no longer accurate. For our correction on the BIIF single-season record, click here.
For much of Hilo’s storied history in BIIF football, titles have been drenched in rain, mud and the longest cleats available in athletic stores.
This year’s unbeaten Vikings squad has been part of a divergence from the norm. Hilo quarterback Kyan Miyasato broke the league record for touchdown passes in a single season over the weekend. Miyasato’s 33 TDs surpasses the previous mark of 32 held by Konawaena’s Austin Ewing.
Prior to that, the league mark was 29 TDs by Aaron Sumida, also of Konawaena.
Weather has been unusually dry, or not as rainy, in Hilo this fall. That plays a factor in the record, but for the most part, Miyasato has simply mastered the Vikings’ passing game. For the season, Miyasato is 102-for-152 for 2,008 passing yards with just three interceptions to go with the massive TD total. Hilo hosts Konawaena in the BIIF D-I final this weekend.
The Vikings are tied with Campbell at No. 5 this week in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Football Top 10, giving Hilo its highest ranking ever in the poll.
It has been quite the ascent for Miyasato and his coaches. He saw playing time as a freshman, and was a potential starter as a sophomore, but was academically ineligible to play. He got focused by junior year and now has substantial career numbers.
> 321-for-557, 5,394 passing yards
> 75 TD passes (21 INT)
“The journey coaching Kyan over the last four years has developed. It’s been and up-and-down journey at different times, but I’m really happy with his maturity level and how it has improved,” Hilo coach Kaeo Drummondo said. “I think his improvement as a quarterback has gotten better as he has grown into the offense and developed an understanding for what it is we want to do. I’m really proud of where he’s at and looking forward to him continuing to lead this group as we move into the last weeks of his senior season.”
Vikings lore is about bone-crushing linebackers going back to Tod Bello of the early 1990s teams, and going all the way back to the ‘50s, when Coach Ted Era guided Hilo to dynastic levels. In fact, there was a lack of competition, so the Vikings played in the MIL for four seasons, taking the ferry each week. Hilo won one MIL title, played a final season, and finally withdrew from the Maui league. There have been epic seasons of great QBs, such as Robert Medeiros on those same teams with Bello and wide receiver Casey Newman playing under the late, great David Namauu.
Today, the Vikings have figured out a way to update their offense despite testy, wet weather in East Hawaii. Their home field, Dr. Francis Wong Stadium, is often a swampy, sludgy mess, making Hilo’s brand of football more conducive to punishing ground attacks. Drummondo considers Hilo’s offensive philosophy balanced, and if there’s a need, it is to run the ball first.
“I’m not sure that we have actually transitioned away from being a running team, or a team that likes to run the ball. We always want to try and establish ourselves running the ball. Whether it’s the run opening the pass or the pass opening the run, sometimes that changes a little bit based on the opposition,” Drummondo said.
The plan is to continue evolving offensively while maintaining that hard-nosed defensive mentality.
“It’s been great this season, lots of hard work from everyone,” Hilo offensive coordinator Chris Todd said. “We had a lot of 7v7 success up in Vegas that laid the foundation for this season’s offense. Lots of buy-in.”