By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — Last season, a victory over Arlington would have meant an important Wesco North 4A victory for the Marysville Pilchuck football team. This season, it doesn’t even count in the standings because it is a non-conference game as the Tomahawks have moved from 4A to 3A.
Even though Friday’s 42-14 victory over the Eagles doesn’t have any playoff implications, it may have accomplished another purpose — sending a message to the Tomahawks’ future 3A opponents.
Marysville Pilchuck dominated Arlington from the opening kickoff with a punishing rushing attack and a smattering of passes that the Eagles never found an answer for. Aside from five turnovers, two in the first half and three in the second, the Tomahawks looked close to perfect.
“I’m happy to get to get the win,” Tomahawks coach Brandon Carson said. “In the second half I wasn’t too happy with the way we played. We turned the ball over a little too much. In the first half I thought we were very efficient, we took advantage of a turnover. I thought we played pretty well on defense in the first half. We built ourselves a nice little cushion and we were able to carry it out the rest of the game.”
The Tomahawks looked poised to take a lead on their first drive when junior quarterback Jake Luton connected with junior wide receiver Deion Stell, who broke past the secondary and was headed toward the end zone, but an Arlington defender caught up to Stell and poked the ball out of his hands and the Eagles recovered the fumble.
Rather than getting discouraged, Marysville responded. The Tomahawks forced Arlington into a punt and quickly marched down the field on a five-play drive highlighted by sophomore running back Austin Joyner’s 37 yards on two carries. MP capped the drive with a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Luton, one of his three rushing touchdowns, all of which were scored on sneaks.
The Tomahawks’ defense forced a four-and-out and the offense went back to work. This time Marysville Pilchuck drove 54 yards on eight plays, capped off by another Luton touchdown.
Meanwhile, Arlington couldn’t get anything going offensively, recording just five first downs in the first half, three of which came on a touchdown drive in the second quarter
And the Tomahawks kept their foot on the gas. After they scored their second touchdown, the defense forced Arlington to punt again and the MP running backs went back to work. The Tomahawks drove 65 yards, all on the ground led by Joyner and senior running back Kacey Walker. Joyner ended the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run, his first rushing touchdown of the season.
“He’s a pretty elusive kid,” Carson said. “He had some good hard runs for us. He caught a touchdown pass. He played pretty well. I was actually really happy with the way he blocked to. He blocked pretty well on the perimeter. He turned out to be a pretty good all-around football player.”
On the next Marysville possession, Luton connected with Joyner for his first passing touchdown of the season on 9-yard pass, giving the Tomahawks a 28-0 lead.
Joyner finished the game with 177 yards on 10 carries and one rushing touchdown. He also caught two passes for 30 yards and a touchdown.
“It all starts with the line and I have some pretty good lineman,” Joyner said.
The Eagles finally put a drive together late in the second quarter led by senior running back John Decker, who had four rushes for 15 yards — including the 2-yard touchdown run — and junior quarterback Austin Wells, who had two rushes for 26 yards and an 18-yard completion to senior Skylor Elgarico, Wells’ first completion of the season.
Wells finished 3-for-11 for 66 yards and had one interception. He also rushed for 33 yards on 13 carries. His rushing total would have been much higher, but he was sacked twice for minus-36 yards. Decker had 141 yards rushing on 21 carries.
On Marysville’s next possession, Luton scored his third rushing touchdown of the game to make the score 35-7 at halftime.
To go along with his rushing touchdowns, Luton went 6-for-12 paqssing for 111 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
“Jake had a nice performance,” Carson said. “Obviously he had three quarterback sneaks for a touchdown and threw one. I thought he put the ball on the money. He made a couple of mistakes there at the end, but we’ll get that fixed. That’s just a kid coming out and wanting to make a play for something to happen. I’m very happy with him.”
The only Marysville touchdown of the second half came on a 7-yard rush by Walker and Arlington’s only score came on a 9-yard run by Elgarico.
Arlington coach Greg Dailer said his team is young and has to mature as the season goes on.
“We battled well in the second half,” Dailer said. “We are just so young. Marysville is obviously way ahead of us right now. What I told the guys was, ‘We can get to where we need to be. We are just going to have to learn from tonight.’ I think we learned a lot just from the first half to the second half. We moved the ball a little better. We’ve just got a lot of work to do.”
At Marysville Pilchuck H.S.
MP—Luton 2 rush, Spiva kick.
MP—Luton 1 rush, Spiva kick.
MP—Joyner 9 rush, Spiva kick.
MP—Joyner 9 pass from Luton, Spiva kick
Arl—Decker 2 rush, Perra kick.
MP—Luton 1 rush, Spiva kick
MP—Walker 7 rush, Spiva kick.
Arl—Elgarico 15 rush, Perra kick.
Records—Arlington 0-1 overall. Marysville Pilchuck 1-0