CORVALLIS -- Aloha is the underdog no more.
The Warriors made the state playoffs for the first time in 20 years in 2009 and on Saturday they won the OSAA 6A football state championship, defeating Tualatin 34-13 at Reser Stadium.
Thomas Tyner rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown for Aloha's first-ever football state title.
"That whole community revolves around the high school, and football has helped revive the community in just such a positive way," Aloha coach Chris Casey said. "It's been slowly coming, but what a tremendous job by our players and great for our community."
Jesse Bresser scored on a touchdown reception and on an interception and Caylen Clardy added 76 yards passing and a score for the Warriors.
Aloha (13-1) held off a second-half run by Tualatin (13-1), which was led by Matt Yarbrough's 215 yards passing and one touchdown.
"Words can't describe what I feel right now," said Aloha running back Jonathan Shaffer, who rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown. "We just won a state title for the first time in Aloha history. That's unbelievable."
Both teams were playing for their first title. Aloha was making its first appearance in a championship game. Tualatin lost to Sheldon in 2007.
Up 17-0 at halftime, Aloha made it 24-0 on its first possession of the third quarter on Bresser's 42-yard touchdown reception from Clardy.
Tualatin found life later in the third when Cole Williams scored on a 15-yard run.
The Timberwolves recovered the ensuing kickoff, and Taylor Altringer caught an 18-yard pass from Yarbrough. Tualatin missed the extra-point try, but the Timberwolves were back in the game at 24-13.
The Aloha defense held Tualatin on its next possession, then Brock Hemphill added a 35-yard field goal to give the Warriors' a two-touchdown lead.
Tualatin turned the ball over on downs in Aloha territory three times in the fourth quarter, at the 31, 27 and the 8. Shaffer added the final score of the game on a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left.
The teams were meeting for the second time this season. Tualatin defeated visiting Aloha 33-21 on Sept. 10. Tualatin held Aloha to 168 yards rushing in that game, 155 yards below the Warriors' season average. Aloha rushed for 262 on Saturday.
"It feels great, not just for us but for our community. A big win for us," Tyner said.
Aloha scored first on Tyner's 1-yard run late in the first quarter. The Warriors went 88 yards in 15 plays, chewing up 5:36 on the clock.
Three plays later, Aloha scored again on a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown by Bresser, who stepped in front a Tualatin receiver for the pick and then sprinted down the sideline to the end zone.
The Warriors then recovered a Tualatin fumble but were unable to convert it into points. The Timberwolves coughed up the ball again, and Aloha turned it into a Hemphill 37-yard field goal. After Bresser's second interception, Hemphill missed a 38-yard try as time expired in the first half.