ARLINGTON — When the Arlington Eagles and Mariner Marauders faced off on Friday night at John C. Larson stadium, it was a star running back most people expected to see.
That is what they got, just not the running back most expected.
Mariner’s star running back, KeiVarae Russell, did not play following a minor accident involving a moped earlier in the week and Arlington’s Colton Hordyk stole the show.
Hordyk rushed for 100 yards on nine carries for three touchdowns and caught four passes for 41 yards and another touchdown in Arlington’s 42-12 victory over the Marauders.
In total, Hordyk, who also kicks, accounted for 30 of Arlington’s 42 points — and he did it all in the first half.
“I was actually really tired in the beginning,” Hordyk said. “I couldn’t even run. They substituted me on D and gave me some rest and I just got to the outside and I guess they couldn’t catch me.”
Hordyk was quick not to forget the guys who paved the way for his breakout night.
“I had great blocking by my line too,” Hordyk said.
Hordyk wasn’t the only Eagle to have a stellar night. Quarterback Blake McPherson completed 11 of his 20 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Like Hordyk, McPherson did it all in the first half.
McPherson started the scoring for the Eagles in the first quarter, throwing touchdown passes of 81, 12 and 15 yards. Hordyk was on the receiving end of the last touchdown, Skylor Elgarico and Terry Dawn caught the other two.
The second quarter belonged to Hordyk, who scored from 1, 2 and 18 yards out in the period. He also ripped off a 42-yard-run, helping give Arlington a 42-0 lead at halftime.
“I knew he would be a good running back,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said. “Back at the end of last year he had 200 against Jackson. He’s one of our best receivers as well, so we move him around quite a bit. He’s just really tough to tackle.”
And every time he finds the end zone, his work isn’t finished. Hordyk has to stay on the field to kick the extra points. After that, still no rest, Hordyk has to kickoff as well. Many of his kickoffs don’t see returns, as they sailed through the end zone.
“He’s got to kick the extra-point and then do the kickoff. We try to have him film when he’s not out there,” Dailer joked. “He did a great job tonight. That line around him blocked really well.”
Dailer knew coming in that his passing attack was solid, but said he didn’t quite know what to expect with the running game. Hordyk took over at the starting running back because Riley Cobb is no longer with the team and much of the offensive line is new.
“If we can be a dual threat, we are going to be tough to stop,” Dailer said. “I knew we were going to be successful throwing the ball, but I wasn’t sure about our run game.”
If Week One is any indication, Dailer doesn’t have much to worry about. But is he sure about it now?
“I’m not sure about it,” Dailer said. “But I am much more excited.”
Despite the win, Eagles players and coaches wanted to play against Russell, who was kept out with a slight concusion.
“I hate to see any athlete not be able to play, especially one like KeiVarae Russell,” Dailer said. “And when you get a chance to go against somebody like that, you get excited because you want to see how you measure up. So, I feel kind of bad for them and for our guys that they didn’t get to go against him.”
Mariner coach John Ondriezek said Russell’s presence wouldn’t have made any difference in the outcome.
“What can I say, they were much better than we were,” Ondriezek said. “It wouldn’t have mattered if we had KeiVarae Russell or not tonight. Arlington played a great football game. We didn’t tackle. We didn’t move the ball. We didn’t pick up stunts. It wouldn’t have mattered if we would have had Adrian Peterson running for us tonight. You have to stop people and we didn’t stop people and we didn’t establish anything on offense. They beat us physically. They outplayed us. They out-coached us — not much else I can say.”
Both Russell and Ondriezek said Mariner’s heavily recruited RB should be back next week against Mount Vernon.
With the outcome already decided, Mariner’s Taylor Garneau and Josh Williamson added touchdowns in the second half.
Follow Aaron Lommers on twitter @aaronlommers.
At Arlington H.S.
Mariner 0 0 6 6 — 12
Arlington 21 21 0 0 — 42
Arlington–Elgarico 81 pass from McPherson (Hordyk kick)
Arlington–Dawn 12 pass from McPherson (Hordyk kick)
Arlington–Hordyk 15 pass from McPherson (Hordyk kick)
Arlington–Hordyk 2 run (Hordyk kick)
Arlington–Hordyk 1 run (Hordyk kick)
Arlington–Hordyk 18 run (Hordyk kick)
Mariner–Garneau 5 pass from Dye (kick failed)
Mariner–Williamson 88 run (kick failed)
Records–Mariner 0-1 overall. Arlington 1-0.