By David Krueger Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — Arlington quarterback Skylor Elgarico insists his girlfriend, Sara, won’t get jealous.
He couldn’t speak for the Stanwood football players.
Elgarico stood kissing the Stilly Cup, the trophy awarded to the winner of the annual game between the two schools on the Stillaguamish River, after accounting for six touchdowns and leading the Eagles to a 60-0 victory over the Spartans on Friday night at John C. Larson Stadium.
“This is big,” Elgarico said. “We take pride in this. We want to win it every year. She’ll understand.”
Making his first start at quarterback since his sophomore year, Elgarico provided a spark for the previously winless Eagles. He ran for 189 yards and five touchdowns on seven carries — all in the first half. He also completed 3 of 7 passes for 89 yards and another score.
“He is our most explosive player,” Arlington head coach Greg Dailer said.
Two years ago, Elgarico filled in behind center when star quarterback Blake McPherson injured his knee. He led the team to the playoffs and gave Dailer confidence that he could come out and turn things around for the 0-2 Eagles who were looking for a spark.
Arlington found that spark, and then some.
The Eagles scored 40 points in the first quarter alone — more than they scored in their two previous games combined.
“We were looking for a little change, see what might work,” Elgarico said. “It feels good to come back. Just putting those two games behind us. It’s good to start with the Stilly Cup.”
It was the second consecutive Stilly Cup rout for the Eagles, who won 59-0 last year, and their third straight series victory. This was the first time in years the contest was a non-league game, after Stanwood dropped to the Wesco North 3A conference this season. Arlington remained in 4A.
Early on it became obvious that the Eagles were going to soar. After a quick three-and-out by previously unbeaten Stanwood (2-1) to start the game, Arlington got the ball and drove 72 yards on two plays, the last of which was a 49-yard touchdown run by Elgarico.
Soon after, Arlington’s Jayden Jira got the first of his two interceptions on the night, and ran it back 25 yards for the Eagles’ second score.
And that was only the beginning.
Elgarico added touchdown runs of 16, 79, 10 and 19 yards, along with a 51-yard screen pass to Max Gray that ended with Gray in the end zone.
John Decker, the Eagles’ second-leading rusher with 33 yards on eight carries, had a 7-yard touchdown run, and Nathan Kehler ran the Eagles’ third interception of the day back 75 yards for a score.
The result of all that scoring was a 40-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 60-0 advantage at halftime. Even then, Arlington was ready to keep the pressure up in the second half.
“We were so jacked,” Elgarico said. “The adrenaline was pumping. We didn’t feel any of it.”
Because of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association mercy rule, there was a running clock in the second half. The quarters went by fairly quickly, with neither team — both of them played several backups — putting up a score.
Dailer praised his offensive line, which he said did a great job of blocking after taking some criticism from the coaches after the past two games.
“We’ve really been on them,” Dailer said. “They blocked really well tonight. Stanwood has some big guys up there.”
The defense also did its part, forcing eight turnovers — three interceptions and five fumbles.
Really, the only things that didn’t go Arlington’s way were the extra-point attempts. The Eagles missed their first five. They converted a pair of two-point conversions before Seigo Hall split the uprights after Arlington’s eighth score.
Dailer said he hopes that this game jump starts his team heading into league play next week against Mount Vernon. He said the Eagles’ strong performance Friday shows how much they wanted to beat their old rival.
“That was goal No. 1,” he said. “Beat Stanwood. … The fact that we came so ready to play shows you what a great rivalry this is.”
Despite the Eagles’ recent domination of the series, Dailer said there is no reason to expect the lopsided scores to continue.
“It’ll be a whole new game next year,” Dailer said. “You never know. Something else that’s crazy will probably happen.”
Arl—Skylor Elgarico 49 run (kick failed)
Arl—Jayden Jira 25 interception return (Nate Lewis pass from Elgarico)
Arl—Elgarico 16 run (kick failed)
Arl—Max Gray 51 pass from Elgarico (kick failed)
Arl—Elgarico 79 run (John Decker run)
Arl—Elgarico 10 run (kick failed)
Arl—Decker 7 run (kick failed)
Arl—Elgarico 19 run (Seigo Hall kick)
Arl—Nathan Kehler 75 interception return (Hall kick)
Records–Stanwood 2-1 overall. Arlington 1-2