Arlington’s Leyton Martin takes the snap and looks for a receiver against Marysville Pilchuck on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington’s Leyton Martin takes the snap and looks for a receiver against Marysville Pilchuck on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington bounces Marysville Pilchuck, claims Wesco 3A North title

Kobi Spady registers two defensive TDs in the third quarter as Eagles stay undefeated.

ARLINGTON — The Arlington High School football team nailed down its largest benchmark so far this season during Friday’s 42-14 runaway victory over Marysville Pilchuck.

The Eagles’ Week 6 win served as a Wesco 3A North regular season title clincher, marking Arlington’s second title since 2015, and they did it in a multitude of ways.

The high-powered offense Arlington has shown all year didn’t need to get called on often to seal the game in the second half.

After building a 28-14 halftime lead, two defensive scores from senior linebacker Kobi Spady in the third quarter held off a hungry Tomahawks squad that was searching for a way to knock off the undefeated Eagles (6-0, 5-0).

“It’s tough as an offensive coordinator to have a second half shutout like that,” head coach Greg Dailer said. “But, our defense scored 14, which was awesome, and they shut (Pilchuck) out in the second half. So proud of the way our kids played on defense tonight. .. It was exciting, and we’re really happy to achieve this big goal we had in front of us.”

Junior quarterback Leyton Martin tallied 211 yards on 20-of-27 passing, three first-half TDs and one interception. Junior wideout Jake Willis finished with a game-high 101 yards receiving on eight catches, adding a TD and a fumble recovery.

In the first half, the Tomahawks (4-2, 3-2) capped off the game’s opening drive with a rushing score from junior Joe Davis, taking an early 7-0 lead.

Arlington stormed back as junior running back Caleb Reed (13 carries, 67 yards) scored on a 1-yard rush, evening the score with 5:41 left in the first period.

After Pilchuck turned the ball over on downs, the Eagles finished a six-play, 54-yard drive as Martin scrambled out of trouble on fourth and 6 to find Willis for a 21-yard sideline grab, setting up a 20-yard TD pass to Chase Deberry.

“I think (Pilchuck) did a real nice job at taking the top off without letting us get over them,” Dailer said. “We were just taking what they were giving us. Our quarterback did a great job of that, just picking them apart a little bit going down the field. There was a little bit of back and fourth, thought it was going to be a shootout for a while but our defense really stepped up for us.”

After claiming an onside kick, the Eagles kept rolling as Martin located Willis for a 15-yard TD pass with 10:01 left before the half.

On Pilchuck’s following drive, Willis dove on a fumble from Tomahawks senior QB Luke Shoemaker, setting up an opportunity in the red zone for the Eagles to climb ahead by three scores.

Tomahawks sophomore defensive back Davien Parks gave Pilchuck a needed momentum shift, picking off Martin in the end zone.

The Tomahawks marched on a 12-play, 80-yard drive to pull within one possession. Shoemaker found tight end Shane Nelson on a post route for a 26-yard boost. Senior Kenai Sinaphet fought across the goal line for a 4-yard rushing TD, making it a 21-14 Arlington lead with 3:21 left in the second quarter.

After the Eagles were forced to punt at the 1:18 mark, Pilchuck took over at their own 20-yard line on a touchback. However, Shoemaker was picked off by junior corner Bookie Cramer.

The Eagles wouldn’t waste their next scoring chance. Martin completed a four-play, 32-yard drive with a 12-yard TD pass to Kaid Hunter with 5 seconds left in the half.

After a three-and-out stop by the Tomahawks, the Eagles took the wind out of Pilchuck’s sails as Spady picked off Shoemaker, taking it back 18 yards for his first score at the 9:34 mark in the third.

Spady one-upped himself on Pilchuck’s next drive and slid on a high snap over the punter in the end zone to secure the Eagles a 42-14 lead with 4:27 left in the frame.

“My job was to pin (the punter),” Spady said of his fumble recovery score. “When I saw the ball go over his head, I knew it was going into the end zone. I thought my teammates were gonna get it, but I saw the ball pop out and I was like, ‘Oh, we gotta get that and get another touchdown.’ But there’s no I in team, our defense was all a team effort tonight.”

After cementing themselves as league champs, the Eagles head into a Week 7 road matchup against Oak Harbor next Friday.

“I give the kids a lot of credit,” Dailer said. “They respond really well and we challenge them every week to look at the game in front of us, the play in front of us, and not look months ahead. They just stay in the moment, they stay fired up and they work hard, and that’s why we’re doing really well.”

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