By MATT GERHART
Tribune-Herald sports writer
KAILUA-KONA -- As Hawaii Prep whooped it up on the visitor’s sideline, the team in blue and silver was simply left to watch the celebration unfold.
It was a most unfamiliar sight at Waverider Stadium.
Koa Ellis threw two long touchdown passes, Bobby Lum found the end zone three times and Blake Hooser scored on an electrifying kickoff return Saturday night as HPA beat Kealakehe 34-21, handing the Waveriders their first Big Island Interscholastic Federation regular-season home defeat since 2007.
“I knew they always won, but I didn’t know it was that long,” Lum said.
And forget about ground and pound. It was air Ka Makani — in the first half, at least — as HPA (3-1, 1-1 BIIF Division I) came up with a response every time it needed one to pull the upset in the teams’ first meeting since 2005.
“Really proud of the boys, we played with such resiliency,” coach Jordan Hayslip said. “Always battling back.”
Ellis passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, including back-to-back scoring passes that helped HPA take a 28-15 lead at halftime.
After Riggs Kurashige’s 18-yard touchdown run helped Kealakehe take a 15-14 lead, Ellis opened the next drive with a screen pass to Lum, and the senior running back picked up a few blocks and raced down the left sideline for a 70-yard touchdown.
“I didn’t know all the lineman had gone, but as soon as I got to the open, I was gone,” Lum said
Lum came up with sack to force Kealakehe to a three-and-out, and on HPA’s next play from scrimmage, Ellis hit Justin Perry on a 61-yard scoring strike.
“Line was blocking,” Ellis said. “They did their job, I tried my hardest to do my job. They helped me, I helped them. Bobby did his job, he scored.”
Lum also rushed for two touchdowns, putting the game away with a 10-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
On HPA’s opening drive of the game, Ka Makani twice converted on fourth down during a 14-play, 53-yard drive set up by Kellen Gillins’ interception. Lum punched it in from a yard out.
Ka Makani were stout at the line of scrimmage, forcing Kealakehe (1-2, 1-1 BIIF Division I) into four turnovers and sacking Kaimi Wilson five times.
“Definitely one of the bigger wins we’ve ever had,” said left tackle Keenan Greenbaum, a three-year starter.
Wilson hooked up with Keaho Kaakimaka twice for touchdowns, the first of which gave Kealakehe an 8-7 lead after Keanu Tilfas ran in the two-point conversion.
But as was the theme of the first half, HPA responded.
Hooser corralled a bouncing kickoff at the 10, headed to the right sideline and avoided a few tacklers before cutting across the field and streaking down the left side for a touchdown.
“We don’t stop fighting,” Lum said.
Lum registered four tackles for loss at linebacker.
Kurashige ran the ball 19 times for 186 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown run.
HPA relied more on Lum in the second half, and the bruising back shrugged off two fumbles to finish with 91 yards on 22 carries.
“We were ready for this game,” Ellis said.
In other BIIF football action, Hilo defeated Keaau 35-7.
Hawaii Prep 7 21 0 6 – 34
Kealakehe 0 15 6 0 – 21
HPA – Bobby Lum 1 run (Alex Brost kick), 4:34
Keal – Keaho Kaakimaka 15 pass from Kaimi Wilson (Keanu Tilfas run), 9:52
HPA – Blake Hooser 90 kickoff return (Brost kick), 9:33
Keal –Riggs Kurashige 18 run (Ari Mench kick), 3:16
HPA – Lum 70 pass from Koa Ellis (kick failed), 2:58
HPA – Justin Perry 61 pass from Ellis (Gillins from Ellis), 1:36
Keal – Kaakimaka 23 pass from Wilson (kick failed), 7:13
HPA – Lum 10 run (kick blocked), 2:24