ARLINGTON — After scoring a touchdown on its first possession of the game, Arlington knocked on the door of another score all night but turnovers and a missed field goal prevented it and kept the score tied with Mount Vernon for most of the contest.
It took the Eagles the worst field possession of the night to turn things around.
Taking over on their own 3-yard line late in the fourth quarter after a great punt by Mount Vernon, the Eagles drove 98 yards in 17 plays to score the eventual game-winning touchdown in a 14-7 victory over the Bulldogs in the Wesco 4A North opener for both teams.
The final touchdown — a 1-yard run by Austin Basham — was set up by a 32-yard pass play from Cameron Scrimgeour to Max Gray on third-and-8 from the Bulldogs’ 33-yard line. Seeing the Mount Vernon corners start to jump routes, Arlington head coach Greg Dailer called fora hitch-and-go with Max Gray. The Bulldogs promptly came out in press coverage for the first time all night. Gray beat the Mount Vernon cornerback deep down the sideline anyway and actually drew a pass interference on the play as well.
“It ended up working out,” Dailer said. “Cam put it on the money and Max came up with another huge play.”
The drive would have sputtered out early if it weren’t for a key third-down completion by Scrimgeour in the shadow of his own goalpost. Facing a third-and-8 from his own 5-yard line, Scrimgeour hit Gray for 12 yards on a curl route to keep the drive alive. Other key plays on the drive included runs of 14 and 11 yards by Jared Alskog and a 12-yard completion to Austin Wells that got Arlington over midfield.
A big goal-line stand by Arlington kept the score tied. After the teams traded possessions to start the second half, Mount Vernon caught a big break when Arlington snapped the ball over its punter’s head to give the Bulldogs the ball at the Eagle 26. After a seven-yard run by Robert Monroe, Bulldogs ballcarrier Brandon Hayman rumbled 14 yards down inside the Eagles’ 5-yard line.
But Arlington’s defense stiffened and stuffed three straight sneaks by Mount Vernon quarterback Tristan Brock to set up a fourth down. Instead of kicking the field goal, Bulldogs coach Jay Silver decided to go for it and Hayman was stuffed by Arlington’s defense. The linebacker who kept Hayman out of the end zone? Scrimgeour.
“The defense came up huge,” Dailer said. “We haven’t had a goal-line stand like that around here in a long time.”
Early on it seemed this game might defy the wet and sloppy conditions and be a shootout. Arlington returned the game’s opening kickoff down to the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line and the Eagles scored three plays later when Scrimgeour hit Anthony Parra on a five-yard touchdown pass. But that was all the scoring Arlington would do until late in the fourth quarter. The Eagles drove into Mount Vernon territory three times in the first half only to have interceptions end two drives and a missed 22-yard field goal another. Early in the second half a fumble stopped another Eagles’ foray into Mount Vernon territory.
Arlington travels to Snohomish to face the Panthers while Mount Vernon hosts Lake Stevens.
At Arlington H.S.
Mount Vernon 0 7 0 0 — 7
Arlington 7 0 0 7 — 14
A—Anthony Parra 5 pass from Cam Scrimgeour (Parra kick)
MV—Brandon Hayman 6 run (Park kick)
A—Austin Basham 1 run (Parra kick)
Records—Mount Vernon 0-1 league, 3-1 overall. Arlington 1-0, 2-2.