By MATT GERHART
Tribune-Herald sports writer
KEAAU — As the lights went out and David Baldwin exchanged hugs on the field, the Hilo High coach was still replaying the game in his head, second by second and play by play. He even took a stab at calculating Campbell quarterback Isaac Hurd’s passing statistics from memory.
As it turned out, Baldwin was a off by a bit, but that’s excusable. Hurd had just put up some mind-blowing numbers.
The senior threw for four touchdowns and 385 yards Friday night and the Sabers rattled off four quick second-half scores to pull away and beat the Vikings 42-27 in the opening round of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I football tournament at Keaau High.
“Kid’s got a gun,” Baldwin said. “He needs to register that with the state. That thing could be considered a firearm. He was as good as advertised.”
Hurd also ran for a touchdown and was an ultra-efficient 27 of 36, hitting Kainoa Perry for the go-ahead score late in the third quarter as Campbell (9-3), the Oahu Interscholastic Association third-place team, moved to the semifinals and a meeting with OIA champion Mililani, the No. 2 seed, on Nov. 16.
While the Sabers walked away with their first win at the Division I tournament, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation fell to 0-15 all-time at states in D-I. Two years removed from a winless season, the BIIF champion Vikings (9-2), who lost for the first time in 10 games, were making their first state appearance since 2003.
“The second half was horrible for us, but you have to give it to Campbell. The better team won in the end,” said junior Donavan Kelley, who had a hand in all three of Hilo’s touchdowns. “We had a great season. From an 0-10 record, it was a huge improvement.”
With the season suddenly over, Baldwin was eagerly awaiting the arrival of 2014 conditioning. First, he anticipated suffering withdrawal from not being around his players.
“When it’s all said and done, I think they’ll be able to look back and realize a nine-game win streak, undefeated in the BIIF, that’s not a bad thing,” he said.
Kelley passed for a score and ran for a score at quarterback, and he was on the receiving end of a 70-yard touchdown strike from Sione Atuekaho. That play was set up when Jon Salzman sacked Hurd and forced a fumble that Michael Williams recovered.
About the only thing Hurd didn’t do well was ball-security.
Campbell lost three fumbles, with Suwaiter Poch recovering two. The Vikings turned the third fumble into Rayce Takeyesu’s field goal and a 17-14 lead.
But Hurd was just getting going. He marched Campbell 73 yards for a score, finishing it with a 23-yard pass to Perry, the first of four Sabers touchdowns during a 7:40 stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters. Solomon Matautia capped the spurt with a 58-yard punt return.
“(Hurd’s) a really good quarterback,” senior defensive lineman Isi Holani said. “Him and his offense, they put a lot of work out there. They gave us a good look.”
Thanks in part to two sacks by Salzman and one by Holani, the Vikings held the Sabers to 58 yards rushing. But time and time again their receivers got behind Hilo’s defense, and Hurd fired the ball around to six different players.
His first two touchdown passes of the night went to Amosa Amosa Jr., covering 38 and 11 yards, and the latter was set up by Keola Himan’s 48-yard catch late in the second quarter. Hurd also hit Jayce Bantonlina in the end zone from 39 yards out. Perry hauled in nine passes for 116 yards, while Amosa had six catches for 103.
“Our M.O. all season on defense was to not give up the big play,” Baldwin said. “That may not have been out M.O. tonight.
“These kids understand that. Defense allowed us to win the BIIF championship. You have to give Campbell credit.”
Junior running back Tristin Spikes ran for 82 yards for Hilo, which lost two fumbles. Spikes gained 11 to convert a fourth down on the opening drive of the game, and Kelley ran in for a score on the next play.
Campbell came away with four sacks, three by Josiah Mageo.
Kelley was 5 of 10 for 102 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Shelton Lerma, and Atuekaho went 2 of 13 for 79 yards.
Spikes, Kelley and Atuekaho, all juniors, are among the players that Hilo will return next season for what will be Baldwin’s third year.
“We lost in the BIIF title game last year, and this year we won it,” Baldwin said. “Looking at next year at the progression level, that’s exciting.”
For Kelley, the next progression was obvious.
“The next step is to get past the first round of states,” Kelley said. “Win BIIFs, then win this first round and move on from there.”
Campbell 0 14 7 21 —42
Hilo 7 0 10 10 —27
Hilo — Donavan Kelley 11 run (Rayce Takeyesu kick), 7:48
Camp — Amosa Amosa 38 pass from Isaac Hurd (Bryson Maximo kick), 4:46
Camp — Amosa 1 pass from Hurd (Maximo kick), :44
Hilo — Kelly 70 pass from Sione Atuekaho (Takeyesu kick), 9:25
Hilo — FG Takeyesu 30, 3:35
Camp — Kainoa Perry 23 pass from Hurd (Maximo kick), :44
Camp —Jayce Bantonlina 39 pass from Hurd (Maximo kick), 9:30
Camp — Hurd 13 run (Maximo kick), 6:21
Camp —Solomon Matautia 58 punt return (Maximo kick), 5:04
Hilo — Safety, intentional grounding in end zone
Hilo — Shelton Lerma 25 pass from Kelley, (Takeyesu kick), 2:21