ARLINGTON — It was probably the craziest 37 seconds in Western Conference football history, but in the end a remarkable three-touchdown Arlington scoring frenzy was not enough for the Eagles on Friday night.
Maryville Pilchuck shrugged off Arlington’s quick 21 points — set up by three quick Tomahawks fumbles — to score three unanswered touchdowns of their own in the second half for a season-opening 42-21 victory on Friday night.
The Tommies were led by junior running back Austin Joyner, who had 16 carries for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Joyner, who had scoring runs of 5, 7 and 80 yards, left the game midway through the fourth quarter due to painful cramps and did not return.
Though pleased with the outcome, Marysville Pilchuck coach Brandon Carson knows his team “can play better. Absolutely we can play better. We have some things to (improve) on both sides of the ball.
“I’m disappointed with the way we turned the ball over, but I’m proud of the way we overcame the momentum shift,” he said. “We kept fighting back, our defense hung tough ? and we made some plays, which was nice.”
The Tomahawks opened the scoring with two first-period touchdowns, including one by Joyner. They took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter, but the trouble started in the early seconds of the period.
On the third play of the period, Marysville Pilchuck was forced to punt from deep in its territory. The center snap sailed over the head of punter Alex Gray and into the end zone, where it was recovered by Arlington’s Noah Andal.
On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Tomahawks quarterback Jake Luton was hit as he tried to pass and the ball bounced free. There was a scramble near the goal line and the recovery was made by Arlington’s Jon Rabourn at the 1.
On the next play, Eagles running back Deeshawn Benjamin bulled into the end zone for a game-tying touchdown.
By itself that was a nice little flurry for the Eagles, but there was more to come. On the ensuing kickoff, the ball was fumbled by returner Joey Navarro at the 22, picked up by Arlington’s Saige Taylor and returned untouched for a third touchdown.
Three touchdowns in barely a half-minute, and only one play for 1 yard from scrimmage.
“I was wishing it wouldn’t have happened, but it did,” Carson said. “But we overcame, and that was nice. I like how our kids battled back. They didn’t hang their heads. They kept fighting.
“And we’ll get the turnover thing fixed,” he added. After Joyner’s go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, the Tomahawks got a 1-yard scoring sneak from Luton and a 7-yard touchdown run around left end by Hunter Trueax to close the scoring.
“I think this team can really do some (good) things,” Carson said, “but we have to correct our mistakes. We have to take care of the football, we have to catch the football, we have to block the right people and we have to tackle.”
At Arlington H.S.
Marysville Pilchuck 14 7 7 14 — 42
Arlington 0 21 0 0 — 21
Marysville Pilchuck—Joyner 5 run (Spiva kick)
Marysville Pilchuck—Valencia 6 run (Spiva kick)
Arlington—Andal recover bad snap in end zone (Parra kick)
Arlington—Benjamin 1 run (Parra kick)
Arlington—Taylor 22 fumble return (Parra kick)
Marysville Pilchuck—Joyner 7 run (Spiva kick)
Marysville Pilchuck—Joyner 80 run (Spiva kick)
Marysville Pilchuck—Luton 1 run (Spiva kick)
Marysville Pilchuck—Trueax 7 run (Spiva kick)