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Arlington steals Monroes Homecoming thunder
MONROE Somebody forgot to tell Monroe that Arlington had only won one game. The hungry and determined 3A Eagles fed off of the host Bearcats Homecoming festivities en route to an exciting 33-28 Wesco North league victory Friday, Oct. 13.
Five-foot-10 inch junior wide receiver Jerad Barber pulled down three incredible touchdown catches to propel Arlington to their second win of the season and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Monroe got on the scoreboard first when senior running back Brian McPeters scored on a long TD run for a 7-0 lead with 3:59 in the first quarter.
Arlington (2-4 in league play, 2-5 overall) had a smooth retaliating drive down to the Bearcat (3-3, 3-4) 22-yard line, but senior quarterback Trevor Milless was intercepted at the Monroe 6-yard line.
Trailing 7-0 entering the second quarter, Milless connected with Barber on a beautiful acrobatic catch that gave the Eagles a first down at the Monroe 9-yard line.
On fourth down Barber pulled in a catch worthy of ESPNs SportsCenter in the corner of the end zone, and after senior Joey Dettrich converted on the extra point the Eagles were tied 7-all.
Monroe answered on their ensuing possession and scored a little more than two minutes later to take a 14-7 lead with 4:02 remaining until halftime.
Bearcat power the orange-and-black clad Monroe vocal student section chanted.
Arlington responded with a 20-yard Milless to junior wide receiver Derek Johnson pass, and Barber once again pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a 37-yard TD reception on another successful fourth down play to tie the game at 14-all.
Theyre going for the end zone, the Eagles coaches yelled at their defense as Monroe prepared for a second and 10 from the Arlington 35-yard line, but the Eagles defense stepped up with a huge quarterback sack with three seconds in the first half.
Monroe fed off the halftime royalty coronation and festivities when McPeters ran 58 yards nearly untouched for a touchdown and a quick 21-14 lead on the first play of the third quarter.
The Eagles appeared stunned and looked as though the grinch had stolen all of their Christmas presents.
Milless threw an interception and the capacity Homecoming crowd was nearly deafening as the Bearcats returned the pass to the Arlington 26-yard line.
Two plays later junior defensive back Brandon Gunter recovered a Monroe fumble and rambled down to the Bearcat 35-yard line.
Six-foot-5 inch senior Abe Bourasaw completed a Milless pass across the middle on a second and six and sprinted down to the Monroe 5-yard line.
Gunter finished the quick drive with a 5-yard TD reception from Milless and the seesaw battle continued with a 21-all tie with 8:36 remaining in the third quarter.
Lets get a little bit r-o-w-d-y the Arlington cheerleaders encouraged their small, yet vocal student section mixed with parents.
After the two teams traded fumble recoveries, junior linebacker Jurrell Frank made a critical stop on a Monroe fourth-and-one from their own 34-yard line.
Arlington took over possession, and benefited from offside and pass interference penalties against the Bearcats for a first down on the Monroe 13-yard line.
Milless once again connected with Barber on another acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone, but it was negated by an offensive procedure penalty.
Not to be outdone, the Eagles faced a fourth-and-17 from the Monroe 19-yard line and once again saw yellow flags litter the field for defensive pass interference.
Two plays later, Barber made his second touchdown count as he pulled another amazing pass in the left corner of the end zone.
Monroe blocked Milless extra point, and Arlington took a 27-21 lead with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter.
Bearcat power yelled the festive Monroe student body while across the field came Eagle power.
Senior defensive lineman Tanner Bowers recorded a pivotal quarterback sack when Monroe tried to convert a fourth-and-eight from the Eagle 32-yard line, and a handful of plays later junior running back Travis Doggett found the end zone from 1-yard away for a 33-21 advantage.
The Eagles two-point conversion was unsuccessful, and ecstatic visitors had a 12-point lead with 3:47 in the contest.
McPeters made life interesting with a quick strike, and after a successful point after the lead was cut to 33-28 with 1:39 left.
Arlington recovered Monroes onside kick, and after junior Mike Keating broke free for a long run to the Monroe 21-yard line, Milless took a knee and sealed the victory.
Milless finished 22-for-34 for 292 yards and four touchdowns.
Barber, mingling with fans and classmates afterward, said he and his teammates fed off the Homecoming energy.
Our theme this week was to crash the party, the jovial teen said.
Right now we are competing with Everett and still have a really good chance for the playoffs. He finished with nine receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns in the teams second victory of the season.
First-year head coach Tim Tramp was beaming from ear to ear while hugging his daughters and receiving praise from his wife and fellow coaches.
Jerad was just in a zone tonight, Tramp said. He wasnt going to drop the ball. It was almost scary. If the ball was there he will catch it. There was no denying him tonight. We stepped it up when we needed to, and it was a good team effort. It was a classic game of run versus the pass. It was just a great game.
At Monroe H.S.
Arlington 0 14 13 6 33
Monroe 7 7 7 7 28
Records Arlington 2-4 in league play, 2-5 overall. Monroe 3-3 league, 3-4 overall.