By Mark Nelson Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — The Stilly Cup is back in Arlington’s grasp after a three-year absence, but not without potentially dire consequences for the Eagles.
Arlington lost starting running back Riley Cobb, a junior, to a sprained ankle in the second quarter of Friday night’s 29-14 Western Conference North Division win over visiting Stanwood at Arlington High School.
Cobb, who scored on a 38-yard touchdown run with 10 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the second quarter, left the field with a badly sprained ankle with 7:25 left until halftime — a major blow to the Eagles offense.
Cobb, who finished with 106 rushing yards and a touchdown on three carries, was slated to receive treatment and X-rays following the Stilly Cup victory and Arlington won’t know the severity of the injury until later this weekend, according to head coach Greg Dailer.
Cobb is Arlington’s main offensive weapon with 11 rushing touchdowns and an average of 137 yards per game.
The Eagles (3-0 league, 5-1 overall) also lost 6-foot-3 tight end Bo Brummel with 9:17 left in the third quarter. Brummel’s injury appeared to be to a knee ligament, according to Dailer.
“That’ll be two big losses if they’re out and we’ll have to come together as a team and overcome it,” Dailer said.
Arlington’s offense struggled, putting up just 228 yards of total offense, but its big-play capabilities helped catapult the Eagles to their first Stilly Cup win since 2007.
Senior receiver Griffin Ginnis caught a 62-yard touchdown pass on Arlington’s first offensive series and Cobb broke a 38-yard scoring run in the first half. On defense, linebacker Devante Gaillard returned a fourth-quarter fumble 66 yards for a touchdown as Arlington maintained its position atop the Wesco North.
“We didn’t do as good as we were hoping,” said Arlington quarterback Blake McPherson, who completed 3-of-14 passed for 82 yards and a touchdown with an interception. McPherson also ran one yard for a TD in the third quarter.
“We definitely didn’t play as well as we should have,” McPherson said. “I guess this week we’ve just got to come out and practice hard and prepare for next weekend.”
As the Eagles offense sputtered following Cobb’s injury, the defense stepped up to hold Stanwood (0-3, 0-6) scoreless for much of the second half.
Stanwood junior running back Ryan Randall muscled in a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:34 left in the game for the Spartans final points.
Randall finished with 111 yards on 25 carries to lead Stanwood.
“(The defense) did a great job holding (Stanwood) all night and we just didn’t execute on offense very well, but we’ll take it,” Dailer said.
Stanwood had 202 yards of total offense — 172 yards on the ground — but the young Spartans lacked the big-play ability of their opponent.
The longest play from scrimmage for the Spartans, despite running nearly twice as many plays as Arlington, was 15 yards.
“We’re just young,” Stanwood head coach Aaron Cupp said. “We don’t always take care of the football like we need to. We’ve got to get rid of the turnovers. We’ve got some really good pieces, we’ve just got to take that step forward and take care of the football.
“We gave up a couple of home-run balls, but we played really tough.”
The win is Dailer’s first in the Stilly Cup keeps Arlington in good position for a postseason berth.
“We’re still in the driver’s seat for the league championship and we’re right were we want to be, everything is in our hands,” Dailer said.
At Arlington H.S.
Arlington—Ginnis 62 pass from McPherson (Brummel pass from Elgarico)
Stanwood—Strachan 1 run (Harris kick)
Arlington—Cobb 38 run (Elgarico run)
Arlington—McPherson 1 run (kick failed)
Arlington—Gaillard 66 fumble return (Hordyk kick)
Stanwood—Randall 1 run (Harris kick)
Records—Stanwood 0-3 league, 0-6 overall. Arlington 3-0, 5-1.