Arlington Eagles get off to fine start on gridiron

EVERETT — The Eagles started off their football season so fast that even they had a hard time catching up.

Nevertheless, Arlington did recover to win 26-12 against Mariner at Everett Memorial Stadium Sept. 3.

"We started out really well, but we kind of went flat after the first quarter," said Eagles coach Greg Dailer.

Arlington scored on both of its first two drives of the season, finishing with touchdown runs by Griffin Ginnis and Colton Hordyk. Connor Cummings reinforced the Eagles' lead by returning a blocked punt for a touchdown.

The Eagles owned a 20-6 lead at halftime, but it wasn't without drama, as junior quarterback Blake McPherson was sidelined with a knee injury.

"The trainer said it felt really tight, and that was good," said Dailer. "He even said we could let him keep playing."

McPherson re-entered the game, but didn't show the same kind of explosiveness and had to exit again.

Dailer said he will be re-evaluated during the week to see if he is ready to play against 2009 Wesco South champion Jackson in an non-conference game.

"With Blake in, we were clicking on all cylinders," Dailer said. "But as much as we want to win against Jackson (Sept. 10), we need to be cautious so he's healthy for conference games."

As good as the offense was for a little over one quarter, Arlington's defense stole the show, allowing just 191 yards of total offense.

"The defense played really well. We forced a lot of three-and-outs the whole game," Dailer said. "They just got us on the big play once."

That play was a 58-yard run by KeiVarae Russell, which put the Marauders within striking distance in the third quarter with the score 20-12. But Arlington's halfback Riley Cobb finished the game with a 52-yard touchdown run early on in the fourth quarter, capping his 177-yard performance on just 18 carries.

"We just got in a heavy formation and gave Riley the ball to pound it," Dailer said.

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