ARLINGTON — Anthony Whitis and the Arlington football team’s explosive offense made sure there was no second-half comeback from Marysville Pilchuck this time.
Whitis threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns as the Eagles rolled to a 49-14 win over the visiting Tomahawks in a rainy Wesco 3A North clash Friday night at John C. Larson Stadium.
The victory avenged last year’s 21-13 loss to Pilchuck, when Arlington surrendered 14 unanswered second-half points. It was one of three single-digit losses for the Eagles last season.
Arlington left no chance for a comeback this time.
“Most of those guys playing last year for us are playing again this year as seniors, and that experience has really paid off,” Eagles coach Greg Dailer said.
“We had a rough year last year, but it’s paying off this year. These guys don’t allow themselves to have lulls and get down. They learned a lot from those mistakes — those lumps we had to take last year.”
Whitis, a junior, finished 15-of-22 passing and had four completions of 30 yards or more in the first half.
Senior receiver Campbell Hudson was his favorite target, hauling in six catches for a team-high 144 yards and two touchdowns. Hudson was one of four Eagles who caught a touchdown pass in the rout.
Junior running back Tallen Williams added two rushing scores and a touchdown reception as Arlington (4-2 overall, 2-1 Wesco 3A North) racked up 475 total yards.
“It’s hard to find enough footballs to go around this group,” Dailer said of his team’s numerous offensive weapons. “But it’s fun to spread them out. You can’t just focus on one guy in our offense. We’ve just got a great group.”
The victory ended a two-game skid for the Eagles, who were coming off back-to-back losses to Class 3A fourth-ranked Ferndale and 4A third-ranked Graham-Kapowsin.
Arlington struck first on the game’s opening possession, scoring less than two minutes into the contest. Williams swung out of the backfield on a wheel route, hauled in a pass from Whitis and sprinted down the right sideline for a 52-yard touchdown.
Pilchuck (2-4, 1-3) answered right back with a long touchdown run on the ensuing play from scrimmage. Senior dual-threat quarterback Kee-An Ballard took a shotgun snap, faked a handoff and sprinted untouched up the middle for a 92-yard score that gave the Tomahawks an early 7-6 edge.
Arlington later regained the lead and took control with three consecutive first-half touchdown drives.
In the final minute of the first quarter, Hudson took a third-down wide-receiver screen pass down the left sideline for a 73-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 14-7 lead.
Senior receiver Jacob Hubbard keyed Arlington’s next drive, snatching a deep pass from Whitis for a leaping 43-yard reception. Three plays later, Williams ran left on a halfback toss and dove into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown, stretching the margin to 21-7.
Arlington’s next score was set up by a 34-yard pass from Whitis to senior receiver Cooper Cummings. Two plays later, Williams took an option pitch for a 9-yard touchdown run that made it 28-7 with less than three minutes remaining in the half.
The Eagles were looking to add on before halftime when a dropped pass landed in the hands of Pilchuck defensive back Bryan Sanders, who returned the interception to the Arlington 12-yard line.
The Tomahawks capitalized three plays later when junior running back Isaiah Galindo caught a short pass and sprinted into the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 28-14 with 22 seconds to go in the half.
Midway through the third quarter, Hubbard intercepted Ballard on a third-down pass over the middle, setting up Arlington on the Pilchuck 28-yard line.
Two plays later, Whitis lofted a 21-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Dylan Simmons that extended the Eagles’ lead to 35-14.
Cummings intercepted Ballard again on the Tomahawks’ next possession, setting up another Arlington score.
Facing 4th-and-5, Whitis eluded defenders in the backfield before finding Cummings for a 17-yard touchdown pass that made it 42-14 late in the third quarter.
“He had a couple of unscripted plays, and that’s the beautiful thing about Anthony,” Dailer said. “That’s the point guard in him coming out. He just gets moving, keeps his eyes downfield and finds receivers. He was amazing.”