Arlington’s Caleb Reed scampers into the end zone on a handoff against Monroe on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington’s Caleb Reed scampers into the end zone on a handoff against Monroe on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Unbeaten Arlington blows by Monroe in Wesco 3A championship game

Leyton Martin backs a strong defensive effort with four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 45-18 victory.

ARLINGTON — The Arlington High School football team expected to take a step forward this fall.

However, the Eagles didn’t foresee the giant leap that was incoming.

Arlington steamrolled opponents week by week on its way to winning the Wesco 3A North title and earning a perfect record through this season’s first eight weeks.

With a chance to prove they’re Snohomish County’s top Class 3A squad in Week 9, the Eagles delivered another complete effort and won in convincing fashion.

Junior Leyton Martin accounted for four touchdowns, junior Caleb Reed ran for two scores and Arlington’s defense slowed down high-powered Monroe for a 45-18 victory in the Wesco 3A championship game.

“It’s amazing,” junior Jake Willis said. “All the work we’ve put in is finally paying off, but there’s more work to do. We’ve got bigger goals, but this does taste sweet. This is awesome.”

The Eagles (9-0) have won all nine of their games by at least 27 points. They eclipsed 40 points for the eighth time this season and have yet to allow an opponent to score 20 points.

“You’re never going to see that coming,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said of his team’s season. “We knew we were going to be good. We knew our goals were to win the Wesco North, to win a state playoff game and to make a run. But we didn’t see ourselves playing this good. The team is just playing so well together, and we’ve been blessed with being healthy.”

Martin connected on long touchdown passes of 60-plus yards to junior Kaid Hunter and Willis and added a TD connection with junior Chase Deberry in the first half as the Eagles built a 28-6 lead. The junior quarterback threw just seven passes in the first half, but totaled 161 yards on four completions.

Martin used his speed and quickness to buy time in the pocket on multiple occasions, and it often resulted in big gains on well-thrown balls down the field. He also broke loose for 44-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Arlington celebrates Leyton Martin’s long touchdown run against Monroe on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington celebrates Leyton Martin’s long touchdown run against Monroe on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“He’s a magician,” Willis said. “I don’t even know how he does some of the stuff he does. I’m just so thankful that he’s on our side of the ball.”

Martin finished 12 of 20 for 280 yards, Willis had a team-high 101 receiving yards and Hunter added 81 receiving yards. Reed paced Arlington’s ground attack with 119 yards on 17 carries.

Arlington’s defense held Monroe (8-1) 29 points below its season average and applied constant pressure to standout senior quarterback Blake Springer. The Eagles totaled four sacks and came away with two interceptions.

“(Monroe) is an electric offense,” Dailer said. “They got guys all over the field, they got a great quarterback. We knew our defense was good, but we knew this week we would find out just how good. I think we found out we’re pretty good on defense. It’s really exciting.”

Senior Bookie Cramer ended the Bearcats’ opening drive with a pick in the red zone and return of about 20 yards to set up Arlington’s first touchdown. Martin took deep a shot on the next play and Hunter hauled in a 63-yard TD for a 7-0 lead.

Reed busted a 35-yard run near the goal line and punched in a 2-yard rush to go up 14-0 with 2:55 left in the first quarter.

After a fumble by Martin, Monroe put together nine-play, 63-yard touchdown drive to pull back within in a score. Springer connected with junior Mason Davis for 37 yards and senior Ryan Miller for 21 yards to set up a 4-yard TD run by junior Gavin Ranz. A missed extra point made 14-6 at the 9:14 mark of the second quarter.

The Eagles wasted little time answer back, as Martin launched a deep pass to Willis for a 66-yard TD and second one-play scoring drive of the first half.

“They kind of stopped the snowball, stopped our momentum,” Willis said, “but we got it right back.”

Arlington’s Jake Willis makes an impressive catch over his shoulder while being defended closely by Monroe on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Arlington’s Jake Willis makes an impressive catch over his shoulder while being defended closely by Monroe on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

After a short punt set Arlington up in Monroe territory, Martin found Deberry for 19-yard score to go up 28-6 with 1:07 left in the half.

The Eagles opened the second half with an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped by Martin 44-yard run.

Willis pulled down an interception on the ensuing possession and senior Aidan Raney extended the lead to 38-6 with a 46-yard field goal early in the fourth. The kick tied a program record for longest made field goal set earlier this season by Raney.

Spinger and Miller linked up four times for 73 yards and a touchdown on the next drive.

One of three long punt returns from Willis set up Reed’s 12-yard run with 3:45 left, as Arlington gained its largest lead at 45-12.

Senior Nick Mouser took a screen pass from Springer 21 yards for a TD in the final minutes.

Springer completed 24 of 42 passes for 278 yards, Miller had game highs of 11 receptions and 154 receiving yards and Davis had 74 yards on eight offensive touches.

Both teams had already qualified for the Week 10 playoffs. Matchups for Week 10 will be announced Sunday.

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