Arlington Eagles make a statement vs. Marysville-Pilchuck Tommies

ARLINGTON — At one point in the fourth quarter, Riley Cobb was hunched over, gasping for every breath before the next play.

“He’s an animal back there,” Arlington coach Greg Dailer said about his halfback. “He feels tired back there, but when the ball snaps he’s right back in it.”

Cobb led the Eagles to a 33-14 win over Marysville-Pilchuck Sept. 24, running for 104 yards and receiving for another 62 yards to open Wesco North play for both teams.

Early on in the game, Cobb left the field with an Achilles injury, but not before returning an M-P fumble 45 yards for a touchdown and running a screen pass from Blake McPherson 62 yards for another score to help the Eagles jump out to a 19-0 first-quarter lead.

The Tomahawks (2-2), who are two-time Western Conference North Division champions, mounted a comeback, however, on a two-yard run from Tyler Thompson and an eight-yard run from Colby Merkt to cut the lead to 19-14 by halftime.

Turnovers were the story of the night for the Tommies, as they had five give-aways, including two deep in Arlington territory.

“We did fine moving the ball, but we just can’t turn the football over,” said M-P coach Brandon Carson. “That has been a problem for us a few games this year and we’ve got to find an answer for that.”

Cobb scored a four-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to increase the lead 26-14; he finished with three overall touchdowns.

“This was a really big stepping stone for us and we figure that if we can beat Marysville, we have a chance to win the championship and make it to state,” Cobb said.

The Arlington defense, which had given up 56 points to Ferndale last week, held M-P in check for most of the second half.

“We really focused all week on recognizing our reads,” said Dailer about defending M-P’s deceptive running style, which often lines up three backs. “If you just follow your reads, that offense is going to take you to the ball. It’s when you start trying to follow the ball that you get in trouble.”

Dailer said that at the end of the second quarter, he had to remind his players to not get caught up in following the ball.

As the Eagles have all season, they moved the ball both on the ground and through the air, as McPherson completed eight of 16 pass attempts for 186 yards and three touchdowns.

Arlington plays at Lake Stevens Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.

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