ARLINGTON — Stanwood players hoisted the Stilly Cup trophy and jumped up and down in a frenzied postgame celebration on their rival’s home turf.
Students and cheerleaders quickly rushed over to join the party, soaking up a moment that was more than a decade in the making.
The streak is finally over.
For the first time since 2009, the Stilly Cup belongs to the Spartans.
Ryder Bumgarner ran for 246 yards and the undefeated Stanwood High School football team beat archrival Arlington for the first time in 13 years, rolling past the Eagles for a 37-6 triumph Friday night.
“It’s just an incredible feeling,” Bumgarner said. “It’s bigger than ourselves. We were playing for the town, we were playing for each other and the team. … It just feels amazing.”
The victory ended the Spartans’ streak of 12 consecutive Stilly Cup losses. It was their first win in the annual rivalry series since a 21-14 victory in 2009 — back when this year’s senior class was of preschool age.
“It was more than (a) game,” Stanwood senior Carson Beckt said. “It was personal. We needed this win.”
Unlike so many recent Stilly Cups, the Spartans (5-0, 4-0 Wesco 3A North) entered this year’s clash as the favorite.
From the start, they left no doubt.
Stanwood piled up 507 total yards in its high-powered Wing-T attack, led by another massive performance from the hard-running Bumgarner.
The standout 5-foot-10 senior ran for two touchdowns and topped the 200-yard mark for the third time in five games, bringing his season rushing total to 1,100 yards and 11 TDs.
Bumgarner churned out 10.3 yards per carry against Arlington’s stout defense, frequently bulldozing through defenders and dragging them along for extra yardage.
“There’s nobody that works harder,” second-year Stanwood coach Jeff Scoma said. “There’s no one more intense. There’s no one that is as dedicated in the offseason as Ryder. … He absolutely earns everything that he gets.”
But it wasn’t just the Bumgarner show.
Beckt added 90 yards and one TD on nine carries. Fellow senior Otto Wiedmann caught a TD pass and chipped in 80 yards on nine carries. The offensive line and receivers helped pave large running lanes.
And the Spartans executed their bevy of fakes and deception like a well-oiled machine.
“It’s a series-based offense,” said Scoma, who installed the Wing-T after taking over as head coach last summer. “You’re gonna have three things that look the same, and (the defense) doesn’t know which one’s coming. We did a great job kind of disguising our plays today.”
Stanwood’s defense was equally impressive.
The Spartans limited Arlington’s pass-heavy spread attack to just 207 total yards. They also came up with four takeaways — including a strip-sack fumble recovery by senior Caden Caldero and a pair of interceptions by junior Max Mayo and senior Gary Grisham.
For the season, Stanwood has allowed just 7.8 points and 205 yards per game. The Spartans have held all five of their opponents to 16 points or fewer.
“That was our best defensive game of the year,” Scoma said. “The line did a great job of penetration. The linebackers did a great job. The corners did an amazing job. … We had a pretty good game plan of what (Arlington was) going to do. And our athletes came up big.”
Wiedmann broke a 32-yard run on Stanwood’s opening drive, setting up a 30-yard field goal by senior Treyton Mascarenas.
Then after recovering a fumble on a botched Arlington handoff exchange, the Spartans drove and scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by senior Michael Mascotti.
On the opening play of the second quarter, Bumgarner burst through a lane on the left side and raced down the sideline. He punctuated the run by powering through a defender at the goal line, putting an exclamation point on a 36-yard TD that gave Stanwood a 16-0 lead.
“It’s pretty cool to watch,” Wiedmann said of Bumgarner’s physical running style. “I’ve been watching that since middle school, so it’s nothing new to me. But it’s still pretty cool.”
Later in the half, the Spartans rattled off a nine-play, 86-yard scoring drive. Mascotti capped it with a 6-yard TD pass to Wiedmann, giving Stanwood a 23-0 halftime lead.
Arlington’s lone score came midway through the third quarter, when sophomore quarterback Leyton Martin lofted a 21-yard TD pass to sophomore Jake Willis to trim the margin to 23-6.
The Eagles (3-2, 2-2) then had a chance to get back into the game after making a defensive stop. But on the ensuing possession, Caldero came up with a big strip-sack takeaway to stymie any hopes of an Arlington comeback. The Stanwood defensive end raced around the edge from Martin’s blind side, knocked the ball free and recovered it at the Eagles 29-yard line.
“That was huge,” Scoma said.
The Spartans capitalized, with Bumgarner running in a 9-yard TD to make it 30-6 with less than nine minutes to play. Beckt added a 12-yard TD run in the closing minutes for the final margin.
Soon after, Stanwood was raising the Stilly Cup trophy and enjoying a euphoric postgame celebration.
“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Wiedmann said. “It was just an incredible amount of excitement. We kind of expected to win this game coming in here, but it was pretty cool to finally get it done.”
Martin finished 20-of-34 passing for 171 yards, one TD and two interceptions for the Eagles, who graduated nearly all of their starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s Class 3A state playoff team.
The Stilly Cup victory was the latest in a string of milestones for the Spartans, who’ve been on a rapid rise under Scoma the past two years.
After 14 consecutive losing seasons, Stanwood caught fire down the stretch last fall and upset Lincoln-Tacoma to earn its program’s first state playoff berth since 1996.
This year, the Spartans are off to an unbeaten start. They’re on a collision course with Ferndale for the Wesco 3A North title, with a massive regular-season finale showdown looming on Oct. 21. And they’re eyeing another state playoff run.
“It’s been a long, long, long time for these guys,” Scoma said of winning the Stilly Cup. “I’m so happy for the community (and) happy for these guys. The goal is obviously to keep it in our trophy case for many years to come.
“But this is one step of many things we want to accomplish this year. There’s so much more to go.”