There’s nothing like a dominant win to confirm who rules the roost.
Hilo’s 54-10 victory over Kamehameha-Hawaii over the weekend was definitive. The reigning BIIF Division I champion had no trouble with the league’s defending D-II king.
Hilo (1-0, 0-0) is atop the hill at this point even if the game with KS-Hawaii was nothing more than an exhibition that doesn’t count toward the league standings. More so, Vikings coach Kaeo Drummondo is less than satisfied.
“In all honesty, I wasn’t totally happy with the way we executed. We have a long way to go to get to where we want to be. It has nothing to do with our opponents. It’s about how we execute our schemes. The errors we commit, we’re worried about that, not the scoreboard. Staying out of our way. There’s a lot that we need to clean up,” Drummondo said.
Hilo had at least two offsides on kickoff coverage.
“The effort plays, it is what it is. The referees will make the call and you move on. But when it’s about poor technique and the effort is lazy, there it is, that’s why we’re holding,” Drummondo said. “It’s a small sample size, so we’re trying to put it together right now. We have 13, 14 players we can depend on (defensively).”
Drummondo noted some key returnees who are playing lights out: cornerback Elijah Apao, linebackers Kalen White and Mana Price, and defensive linemen Tyson Kaniaupio and Joshua Niro. Returning quarterback Kyan Miyasato perked up after the break.
“There’s a lot of good and bad we can take from it like every week. I liked our energy, the execution in the second half was better. Our passing game, it’s an extension of our running game. And our quarterback’s ability to bounce back after not having the type of first half we would like to have done. Halftime, we had some time to talk to him and he was able to string some drives together a little bit, take what the defense was giving to us,” Drummondo said.
Kamehameha-Hawaii (1-2, 0-0) remains the favorite in BIIF D-II, playing in a division that has three former 8-man programs in Ka‘u, Kohala and Pahoa, as well as Hawaii Prep. The Warriors aren’t deep, which makes their decision to remain in D-II sensible.
“They created a JV team but they only had 20 or so kids suited up. Their varsity had mid to high 20s,” Drummondo noted. “I’m sure their coaching staff and administration is making the best decision for their program. I know they have light numbers and a young team this year. It could be a good fit for them this year (in D-II), but in the future, with the freshmen and sophomores they have playing varsity right now, it could be a good move later.”
Hilo won the D-I state championship in 2017, and lost in the state final last year. This season, the BIIF revamped the format, returning to a double-round robin similar to what existed in the ‘90s. That means the Vikings will meet Konawaena, Waiakea, Honokaa, Kealakehe and Keaau at home and away for a 10-game regular season. Hilo will visit Keaau (0-0) on Friday.
“We’re pretty familiar with them and they’re familiar with us. We scrimmaged them three weeks ago. They have capable athletes and a big quarterback who can make the throws,” Drummondo said. “Defensively, they’ll change things up. We need to be ready for the things they’ll throw at us. Throughout the course of this week, we have to become ready for the things we’ll see. Make reads and play fast like we always do.”