By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — Snohomish didn’t stand a chance against the Elgarico Express.
The Panthers wilted in the warm late-September weather at John C. Larson Stadium in Friday night’s Wesco North 4A contest as Arlington, led by senior quarterback Skylor Elgarico, raced to a 48-17 victory.
“It’s exactly what we needed to do this week,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said. “I’m really proud of the way the kids played.”
Elgarico carried the ball 12 times for 140 yards and two touchdowns and also threw two scores through the air — both in the second half. In the first half the senior was just 3-for-10 for 33 yards and an interception. He didn’t mind using his arm instead of his legs in the second half, completinmg six of seven attempts.
“I just like getting touchdowns,” Elgarico said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s on the ground or in the air. It feels good when the team scores and we get points on the board.”
Teammate John Decker did most of the damage on the ground in the second half, rushing for 116 of his 185 yards. He also found the end zone once in each half.
Though his team lead 28-3 thanks to some big runs by Elgarico, Dailer wasn’t too happy with his offense going into the locker room at half.
“We were up at halftime, but we were sputtering a bit on offense at times,” Dailer said. “Elgarico broke some big plays, but we weren’t executing very well.
“That first drive in the second half finally looked like something that we should be doing.”
Arlington got the ball to start the second half and needed seven plays for Elgarico to get his first passing touchdown. It came from 16 yards out to Jayden Jira and the Eagles led 34-3. They hooked up again on the final Eagle score of the night for a 27-yard pass.
Dailer’s defense was dominant until the outcome was decided and swarmed from the opening whistle.
After Arlington kicked off to open the game, the Eagles forced a Snohomish fumble on its first play from scrimmage. Elgarico took the Eagles’ first snap and raced around the left side of the line on an option. The senior quarterback easily found the end zone on a nine-yard run and Arlington went ahead 7-0.
On the ensuing Snohomish possession, the Panthers fumbled again only to give the Eagles a dose of their own medicine, stripping Elgarico on the next play to get the ball back. The Panthers drove into Eagle territory but quarterback Kyle Gionet threw an interception to end the drive.
Behind a steady dose of Elgarico and Decker the Eagles marched down the field and Decker punched it in the end zone from three yards out to make the score 14-0.
Snohomish coach Mark Perry felt the early mistakes doomed the Panthers.
“We gotta make plays,” Perry said. “We gotta play better. We can’t turn the ball over. We are a better football team than that. Arlington made some great plays and did a good job of capitalizing on our mistakes.”
Snohomish took advantage of a poor Arlington punt to get on the scoreboard with a 25-yard field goal from Collin Shelton. But the Eagles defense didn’t give the Panthers much breathing room the rest of the half or time to celebrate the score.
Jared Alskog, who recovered the opening fumble, took the Panther kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown that seemed to suck the air out of the Snohomish sideline. It was his second of the season in only his second year of organized football.
“I rely on my teammates,” Alskog said. “They are awesome players. I know they are going to do the right thing and leave me to do my right thing.”
After the ensuing Panther three-and-out, Elgarico and company didn’t waste any time getting back on the scoreboard. On the third play of the drive, the quarterback kept the ball on an option play and burst to the sideline on a 56-yard scoring run, making it 28-3 before the half.
Up next for Arlington is rival Lake Stevens in the Eagles final home game of the regular season.
“They got us last year, so we are looking to get a win this year,” Elgarico said. “It’s senior night so we are all just getting really excited for this one.”
At Arlington H.S.
Arlington—Elgarico 5 run (Parra kick)
Arlington—Decker 3 run (Parra kick)
Snohomish—Shelton 26 FG
Arlington—Alskog 90 kick return (kick failed)
Arlington—Elgarico 56 run (Decker 2pt conversion run good)
Arlington—Jira 16 pass from Elgarico (kick blocked)
Arlington—Decker 80 run, (Parra kick)
Snohomish—Kutsch pass from Vuori (Shelton kick)
Arlington—Jira 27 pass from Elgarico (Parra kick)
Snohomish—DeHaan 12 run (Shelton kick)
Records—Snohomish 0-1 league, 1-4 overall Arlington 2-0, 3-2.