BOTHELL — For the Arlington Eagles, Thursday night’s nonconference game against the Inglemoor Vikings was a tale of two halves, the only constant was the drizzle that poured down from the opening kickoff.
Arlington came out sharp on both sides of the ball in the first half, establishing control of the contest, but the Vikings made adjustments at halftime and held the Eagles scoreless in the second half to earn a 28-21 victory.
After the game, Arlington coach Greg Dailer said he wasn’t sure what the difference was from the first half to the second.
“I don’t know, I have to watch the film,” Dailer said. “The rain didn’t help. I thought their pass (defense) was (bad), but it was just too wet to throw the ball. I don’t know, I have to watch the film.”
Without the ability to get the passing game going, Arlington stayed almost entirely with the run, something that worked in the first half, but was slowed down by the Vikings in the second half.
Running back John Decker ran for 109 yards on 14 carries in the first half, but managed just 25 yards on eight carries in the second half.
Both teams struggled to find momentum in the first quarter, but it was the Eagles who struck first finally putting together a drive on their second possession that covered 71 yards on 13 plays and culminated in a Skylor Elgarico touchdown from 1 yard out.
Arlington’s long drive seemed to awaken Inglemoor’s offense, which went down the field for a score of its own on the next possession. They needed far less plays to do it, covering 85 yards on five plays that ended with a 2-yard touchdown reception by Jackson Gardner from Hans Fortune. The touchdown was set up by a 67-yard completion by Fortune to Jake Lindloff.
But the punch-for-punch battle continued on the very next play as Max Gray returned the kickoff 79 yards for another Arlington touchdown, putting the Eagles up 14-7. Gray’s run included leaping a Vikings defender at the 10-yard line and dragging another the final 3 yards into the end zone.
“Max did a great job stepping in tonight and returning the ball,” Dailer said. “He gave us good field position and he had the one touchdown.”
Inglemoor responded from Gray’s big play with a long drive that lasted 15 plays and resulted in a Jake Jones 1-yard touchdown run with little time remaining in the first half.
Still, it was too much time for the Eagles, who, aided by another long return by Gray, drove down the field in six plays capped off by another Elgarico 1 yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 21-14 lead heading into the locker room.
It proved to be the final points that the Eagles would score.
Jones added two more touchdowns for Inglemoor in the second half which proved to be the difference.
Arlington did have one last gasp in the final minute, failed to convert on fourth-and-11 from the Inglemoor 12-yard line, turning the ball over on downs to the Vikings.
“We had plenty of chances to score, we just didn’t ‘execute,” Dailer said.
Arlington now await its opponent in next week’s Wesco crossover games. The Eagles are likely the third seed in the 4A Wesco North, unless Snohomish upsets Lake Stevens tonight, creating a three-way tie between Lake Stevens, Snohomish and Arlington for the final two playoff spots.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Pop Keeney Stadium
A—Skylor Elgarico 1 run (Anthony Parra kick)
I—Jackson Gardner 2 pass from Hans Fortune (Willie Augustavo kick)
A—Max Gray 79 kickoff return (Parra kick)
I—Jake Jones 1 run (Augustavo kick)
A—Elgarico 1 run (Parra kick)
I—Jones 11 run (Augustavo kick)
I—Jones 2 run (Augustavo kick)
Records—Arlington 3-5 overall.