The Arlington football team battled it out with the Bethel Braves in a 3A District Playoff loser-out game on Nov. 2.
Arlington received the kickoff to start the game and immediately began to slowly drive down the field. After converting on fourth down early, the Eagles began to have trouble holding onto the ball as they committed a fumble near midfield. The Braves capitalized on the position and scored a rushing touchdown to put them up 7-0. Near the end of the first quarter, the Eagles gave up the ball once again on an interception but made up for it on a pick-six moments later to put the score at 7-6.
In the second quarter, Bethel started to gain momentum as they scored 14 unanswered points on the ground and through the air. After falling behind by 21-6, the Eagles put together a drive late in the quarter where they scored but failed to convert the two-point conversion. Arlington then forced a turnover of their own and scored on a long field goal, closing the gap, 21-15, going into halftime.
The second half was all about the Braves as they kept the Eagles scoreless and racked up four more touchdowns. In the end, Bethel walked away with the 50-15 blowout over Arlington.
“It’s going to be an unforgettable season with so many great games that we were able to pull out. I’m just so proud of the guys and their ability to never give up in any game that we were in. It sets a good example for the younger guys and the players coming up,” said Arlington Head Coach Greg Dailer.
The Arlington defense was led by Daylin Pierce, Michael Tsoukalas, Quintin Yon-Wagner, Jacob Kalahar and Luke Green. Pierce, senior linebacker, tallied six totals and had one of the Eagles’ touchdowns with a 70-yard pick six. Yon-Wanger, freshman linebacker, grabbed five tackles of his own and grabbed the second interception for the team. Tsoukalas, sophomore linebacker, led all-tacklers with 10 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one forced fumble. Kalahar, senior defensive back, had four tackles and earned the only sack for the Eagles. Green, junior defensive end, was second on the team in tackles with eight and had one go for loss.
“Anthony [Whitis] is one of the best quarterbacks I’ve ever had or had the opportunity to coach. He’s such a tremendous competitor and was the closest thing to having a coach on the field at all times. We have some talented guys coming up, but he’ll be a tough one to compare to,” said Coach Dailer.
The Arlington offense was quiet, but senior quarterback Anthony Whitis did his best to keep them afloat. Whitis finished with over 100 passing yards, roughly 75 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown and came in on defense in the second half to grab three tackles. His main target throughout the game was senior receiver Dylan Simmons who had 46 receiving yards and contributed on defense with four tackles and a pass deflection.
After the loss to Bethel, Arlington’s season is over as they finished with a league record of 4-2 and an overall record of 7-3. With a lot of key seniors leaving in the offseason the Eagles will look to build on their experience and make a run next season.