The Bulldogs are back.
Waialua lost its football finale to Radford, 35-0, on Friday, but still qualified for the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division II playoffs when Nanakuli defeated Kalani 22-6 on Saturday.
Both the Bulldogs (5-4 overall) and the Falcons finished at 4-4 in the league, but Waialua won the tiebreaker for the fourth seed due to a 21-16 victory in the head-to-head matchup with Kalani on Aug. 14. Wow, talk about early-season games meaning something!
And now the fourth-seeded Bulldogs get a rematch with the top-seeded, regular-season champion and undefeated Rams (9-0) on Saturday at the Aiea High field. It won’t be easy.
“We made some mistakes that night (Friday against Radford) that we can correct, and hopefully we can pull it off,” Bulldogs head coach Lincoln Barit said. “It’s been quite a while since we’ve made the playoffs. We came close last year.”
A year ago, Kalani and Waialua also finished at 4-4 and tied for fourth, but the Falcons took the tiebreaker due to an early-season 32-0 win over the Bulldogs. Right, you remember that early-season comment. Two years in a row now!
Barit recalls a time not long ago when Waialua finished in a three-way tie for third place and were the odd-men out on the dreaded (and, to some, dreadful) coin toss.
So how long has it been for Waialua in the postseason? Answer: nine years ago in 2006, when it lost a 29-26, first-round decision to Waipahu. However, that string pales in comparison to the last time the Bulldogs won a playoff game. The answer to that one is 1992 — 23 long years ago. It came against Kaimuki and the final score was 34-14.
“Hopefully, the boys are up to it,” Barit said. “We’re telling them that if they win one game, they make states. Their goal was to make the playoffs and making the states is a secondary goal.”