MARYSVILLE — The final score was a bit misleading.
It’d be hard to compile a more dominant first 25 minutes of football than what Marysville Pilchuck did Friday night.
Dylan Carson and the Tomahawks’ rushing attack kept gashing big gains. Their suffocating defense hardly gave any ground.
And by the opening minute of the second half, the running clock was already in effect.
Carson ran for 241 yards and four touchdowns as the Marysville Pilchuck High School football team cruised to a 42-19 win over Arlington at Quil Ceda Stadium in a rematch of last season’s de facto Wesco 3A North title game.
“I think he’s the recipient of some pretty good blocking,” Tomahawks coach Brandon Carson said of his son. “That helped a lot. I think all of our backs ran really hard tonight. I was really impressed with what they did. … It was a fun night.”
Marysville Pilchuck rolled to a 42-14 win over Arlington in last year’s regular-season finale, which determined the Wesco 3A North crown.
This year’s meeting produced a similarly lopsided result.
Dylan Carson rattled off touchdown runs of 59, 49, 2 and 77 yards and finished with an absurd 18.5 yards per carry. The junior running back’s 13th and final carry of the night was the 77-yard score, which came on the opening snap of the second half. It gave Marysville Pilchuck a 42-0 lead and set the running clock in motion.
Sophomore running back Gaylen Gray added 109 yards rushing and a touchdown on nine carries, including a tackle-breaking 54-yard gain in the second quarter that set up a short touchdown by Carson.
The Tomahawks’ deceptive Slot-T rushing attack finished with 421 yards and 11.1 yards per attempt. Dylan Carson said the misdirection and deception of their offense give them an immediate advantage every snap.
“(The defense) has got nine guys going both ways, so that already gives us an advantage,” he said. “And with us running the Slot-T, there’s so many plays we can run and so little they can stop. We started off the game running trap. They squeezed down hard, (and) then we could start running sweep. Basically they’d try to stop one play, and we can just run another.”
Even though Marysville Pilchuck (2-1) didn’t attempt a pass all night, Brandon Carson and Dylan Carson both credited the smarts of junior quarterback Jace Luton. They said Luton, the younger brother of Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Jake Luton, made several key audibles that led to touchdowns.
“We didn’t put the ball in the air tonight, but four of those touchdowns were because of him checking into certain plays,” Brandon Carson said.
Dylan Carson was coming off a nearly identical statistical performance in last week’s rout of Marysville Getchell, when he ran for 243 yards and five touchdowns on 14 carries. Through three games, he’s rushed for 635 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging a whopping 12.2 yards per carry. He has five scoring runs of more than 45 yards.
Dylan Carson praised his talented blockers — a group that includes Nate Elwood, Kaleb Potts, Diego Lucero, Blake Jones, Logan Labrake and tight end Kaden Mallang.
“They’re just phenomenal,” Dylan Carson said. “… I can’t appreciate them more. They’re phenomenal and probably one of the best (offensive lines) in the state.”
And though the final score may not reflect it, Marysville Pilchuck was equally dominant on the other side of the ball, where the Tomahawks completely stymied an Arlington offense that’s struggled this season after losing starting quarterback Trent Nobach to a broken collarbone in its opener two weeks ago.
Marysville Pilchuck held the Eagles (1-2) scoreless until the fourth quarter, by which point the Tomahawks’ backups were in. Marysville Pilchuck limited Arlington to just 200 total yards, including just 89 yards through the first three quarters. Noah Faber and Jordan Velasquez each came up with an interception on defense for the Tomahawks.
Brandon Carson said he was pleased with his defense’s improvement from the week prior, when his team gave up 21 points to Marysville Getchell. It was the most points Marysville Pilchuck had ever surrendered to its crosstown rival.
“I was happy with our defense,” he said. “I thought we improved from last week, which was kind of what we’re looking for here in this short season — to try to get better every week and keep everybody healthy and play good football. … The improvement from last week to this week was really nice.”
Arlington scored all three of its touchdowns in the game’s final eight minutes, long after the outcome had been decided. Sophomore running back Spencer Fischer totaled 114 yards from scrimmage and both a rushing touchdown and a receiving score.
But aside from that, it was another long night for the Eagles’ offense without Nobach. Arlington was shut out by Monroe in its season opener and was in danger of another shutout Friday before the Tomahawks pulled their starters.
“It’s been a tough adjustment,” Eagles coach Greg Dailer said of losing Nobach. “(Backup quarterback) Mike Tsoukalas has done a great job coming in. He’s been a middle linebacker and he was our tight end. We’re kind of thin at quarterback this year, so he just stepped up and he’s doing a fine job.
“It’s just tough to lose Trent. We’ve had to kind of change a lot of our offense.”