ARLINGTON — Friday night was a validation test for the Arlington High School football team. Was the Eagles’ stunning victory over Lake Stevens the previous week a true indication of Arlington’s capabilities, or was it a one-off destined to be quickly forgotten?
Well, the Eagles left little doubt in their game against the Marysville Getchell Chargers on Friday:
Arlington is the real deal.
The Eagles put a big-time hurt on the Chargers as Arlington confirmed its credentials with a devastating 54-14 victory over Marysville Getchell at Arlington High School in the Wesco 3A North opener for both teams.
Tallen Williams scored three touchdowns, Jacob Hubbard scored two and Anthony Whitis passed for two as Arlington (1-0 league, 3-0 overall) blew past the Chargers, building a 47-0 lead less than six minutes into the second quarter.
And the Eagles verified their victory from a week earlier. Arlington turned in the eye-opening local result of the young prep football season when last Friday the Eagles beat Lake Stevens 54-28 to end the Vikings’ 26-game regular-season winning streak. The question was whether the result was a matter of Arlington being that good, or Lake Stevens being a bit down this year.
If Friday’s game is any indication, the answer is emphatically the former. Arlington, which was elevated to No. 9 in the Associated Press’ 3A state poll this week, was dominating in every aspect of the game. The Eagles scored at will on offense, they stuffed the Chargers on defense, and Arlington scored three touchdowns on special teams.
Perhaps the best indicator of how well Arlington played in the first half was the Eagles scored 54 points while running just 16 offensive plays. The Eagles’ back-ups were in to start the second half.
“I thought our guys responded really well,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said. “It’s a chance for a letdown after a big win like last week. I thought they responded real well emotionally. They came out ready to play, fired up, and they took care of business right off the bat.”
Indeed, the Eagles wasted little time gaining a grasp on the proceedings. Arlington forced Marysville Getchell three-and-out on the game’s opening possession, and on the ensuing punt Trevor Kazen scampered 55 yards down the right sideline to give the Eagles a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.
Then on the ensuing possession Arlington again forced Marysville Getchell to punt, and this time Payton Bastien, rushing off the right edge, grabbed the ball off the punters foot and kept running 30 yards for another touchdowns, and just like that the Eagles led 12-0 without having run a single offensive play.
“That got the momentum going,” said Bastien, who also had a huge block that helped spring Kazen on the preceding punt return. “Our special teams and defense is what we focus on. We came out and performed very well, and that’s how the game ended up how it was, it brought all the momentum.”
After that it was the Tallen Williams show. On his first touch of the game he took an inside handoff 19 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-0. On his second touch he took a pitch to the right, made a vicious cut past a defender, then sprinted 62 yards to make it 26-0. On his third touch he reached out to catch a pass in stride and appeared to have dived into the end zone, only to be ruled out of bounds at the 3 to set up Whitis’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Campbell Hudson. Finally, on his fourth touch Williams powered 4 yards off tackle for a TD, stretching Arlington’s lead to 40-0.
“Not a bad average there,” Dailer said about Williams. “Tallen is just a fantastic tallent, and we’re blessed with two really good backs. Gabe (Green) only carried it three times and one was for a touchdown that got called back. We’re blessed in the backfield and Tallen is a great talent.”
Williams finished with 113 yards of total offense — 85 on the ground on three carries and 28 through the air with his one catch. Whitis finished 5-for-7 for 111 yards and the two TDs.
For Marysville Getchell (0-1, 0-3), Caleb Koellmer was 10-for-25 for 130 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown to Jallang William, and also scored on a 4-yard TD run.