By KEVIN JAKAHI
Tribune-Herald sports writer
Kealakehe depended on Keoni Yates to carry the offense against Hilo, and he did. He even plays defense, too, and serves as the team’s kicker and punter.
But the Vikings defense dominated everyone else, and Donavan Kelley made a difference with a timely touchdown in a 6-3 win over the Waveriders in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I football game that resembled a battle for field position Saturday night during Hilo’s homecoming.
The Vikings (6-1 overall, 5-0 BIIF) secured the No. 1 seed in the four-team BIIF Division I playoffs. They did that by run-stuffing everyone not named Keoni Yates. The other Kealakehe rushers managed just 7 yards on 26 attempts.
The Waveriders (2-4, 2-3) and Waiakea (2-5, 2-3) play each other on Saturday with the winner jumping into the driver’s seat for the No. 2 seed.
Yates, a senior slotback/quarterback/multipurpose-weapon, rushed for 91 yards on 17 attempts. He completed 1 of 2 passes for 5 yards. He even kicked a 29-yard field for Kealakehe’s only score.
Kaimi Wilson shared time with Yates at quarterback and was 4 of 14 for 44 yards. All the incompletions and short runs resulted in eight Waverider punts; the Vikings punted six times.
Kealakehe won the turnover battle. They had none; Hilo had three giveaways, one leading to Yates’ 29-yard field goal in the second quarter. Another fumble was in the red zone in the third quarter.
On the previous possession, Yates lined up for a 40-yard field goal and it was short. In the fourth quarter, Yates had a 28-yard field attempt go wide left with 5:59 remaining in the game.
Hilo ran the ball often (36 times for 112 yards) and passed infrequently (1 for 4 for 37 yards). Kelley was 0 of 3 and Sione Atuekaho was 1 of 1 for 37 yards.
After Yates booted his field goal, Hilo scored on its ensuing series, capped by Kelley’s 13-yard touchdown run. The PAT attempt failed when the snap was low.
Tristin Spikes added 31 yards on 14 carries, and Aven Kualii had 36 yards on four attempts for Hilo, which next plays Konawaena on the road on Friday. Kelley had the only reception, a 37-yard catch, from Atuekaho.
Kealakehe 0 3 0 0 — 3
Hilo 0 6 0 0 — 6
Kea — Keoni Yates 29 FG, 4:04
Hilo — Donavan Kelley 13 run (kick failed), 2:20