The North Shore is celebrating like it's 1955. For the first time in 61 years, the Waialua Bulldogs captured the league championship after downing top-seeded Waipahu in a 36-35 thriller for the OIA D-II crown.
"This is a special group right here," said Waialua head coach Lincoln Barit. "We're small but we love each other, and I thank the community, the faculty, all of them who gave us a chance and believed in us."
Both offenses came out firing on all cylinders as the Bulldogs took a 29-20 lead into the half before Waipahu answered with 15 straight points in the third quarter to take the lead.
Waialua junior quarterback Tevesi Toia hit Risein Campbell for an eight yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to regain a one point lead before the Bulldogs defense came up with a stop on fourth and one in the final minute to seal the win.
"It's exciting and it feels great," said Toia. "It means a lot to our school and alumni and everybody."
It's the sixth league championship in Waialua football history. The Bulldogs will face Damien in the first round of the division two state tournament, while Waipahu will square off against Lahainaluna.
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