The Marysville-Pilchuck football team hosted the Arlington Eagles on Oct. 19 in an battle that would decide which team would earn a postseason berth.
The Tomahawks started with the ball to open the contest, but the Eagles quickly shut them down and forced them to punt. In their first offensive possession, Arlington drove down the field and scored on a short one-yard run up the middle. Through the rest of the first half both teams had solid defensive performances and neither team scored. Entering halftime, the Eagles kept their lead 7-0.
Arlington opened the second half on offense as they drove down quickly and scored on a short pass across the middle of the Tomahawk defense. After allowing another score, Marysville-Pilchuck decided to take a shot downfield and scored instantly with a 72-yard touchdown pass. After strong defense through the rest of the quarter, the Eagles led 14-7.
The fourth quarter was more of the same as both teams had great defensive stands deep into their own territory. Arlington stalled deep in Tomahawk territory about halfway through the quarter and scored on a 29-yard field goal, putting them up 17-7. Over the next few minutes Marysville-Pilchuck managed to drive down the field and nailed a field goal from 28 yards out. However, with limited time left they weren’t able to get the onside kick and lost the game 17-10.
“I thought we did a good job making plays defensively, but we need to take care of the ball on offense and not give the ball up so easily. We were in this game the whole way, but it just didn’t shake out our way a few times,” said Marysville-Pilchuck Head Coach Brandon Carson.
The Tomahawks' offense was led by Jake Elwood and their stable of running backs Bryan Sanders, Trenton Hurst and Jordan Justice. Elwood, junior quarterback, threw for over 100 yards and earned the only touchdown for his team on the long pass. Sanders, senior, put it together on the ground and air as he had over 80 all-purpose yards and added five tackles on defense. Hurst, senior, rushed for over 100 yards and grabbed a few tackles. Justice, junior, rushed for 32 yards, added 72 receiving yards, grabbed the only receiving touchdown and contributed with four tackles.
Jacob Mejia and Mauro Behar made a big impact for the Marysville-Pilchuck defense. Mejia, senior defensive end, earned a handful of tackles and also had a game-high two sacks. Behar, junior defensive back, led the Tomahawk defense in tackles with nine and also picked up a fumble recovery.
“I thought for sure it was going to be a shootout tonight, but then both of the defenses made stops and it turns into a defensive battle. It was a good week for our defense to start clicking and making plays all over the field,” said Arlington Head Coach Greg Dailer.
The Arlington offense was led by Anthony Whitis, Griffin Gardoski, Joey Stretch and Brayden Whetstone. Whitis, senior quarterback, passed for over 150 yards, had a passing touchdown, rushed for 72 yards and had a rushing touchdown. Gardoski, senior tight end, had 58 receiving yards, a receiving touchdown and contributed on defense with five tackles, a tackle for loss and a sack. Stretch, senior wide receiver, grabbed a few passes for 54 yards and Whetstone, junior running back, rushed for 47 yards on the ground.
The Eagle defense was highlighted by Joseph Schmidt and their linebackers Michael Tsoukalas and Quintin Yon-Wagner. Schmidt, junior defensive back, had three tackles and an interception. Tsoukalas, sophomore, and Yon-Wagner, freshman, dominated the middle as they combined for over 20 tackles, a fumble recovery and a few pass deflections.
After this game the Tomahawks are knocked out of the playoffs. The Eagles secured the second-place spot in the 3A Wesco North Standings and will look to make an impact in the postseason.