Arlington aims to improve play in the red zone

With a 31-21 loss at Lake Stevens, the Arlington football team fell to 1-3 on the season.

For Eagle fans however, there are some bright spots in the team’s conference-opening loss Sept. 25.

“We had 403 yards offense to their 297. We physically outplayed them,” said Arlington coach Greg Dailer. “We just didn’t execute in the red zone and they had some big plays. That made all the difference in the game.”

Arlington hopped out to a 8-0 lead in the first quarter as quarterback Andy Smith connected with junior Griffin Ginnis on a 30-yard scoring pass and again for the two-point conversion.

The big plays by Lake Stevens included breakaway runs by running back Brennan Frost, who had three touchdowns for the Vikings — a 57-yard reception and runs of 34 and 66 yards. Frost’s second touchdown gave Lake Stevens a 14-11 lead.

Smith had a second touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Blake McPherson, retaking the lead 18-14. But it would be the Eagles’ last of the game. Smith finished 11-for-26 passing and McPherson took over behind center late in the game, adding 56 yards to the team’s 212 passing.

Despite the loss, Dailer added that the team showed improvements on defense.

“We had 20 plays where we stuffed them for zero or less yards,” Dailer said, adding that at the season’s midpoint, the team doesn’t plan to make any changes but simply fine tune the skills they already have. “We just have to execute, practice red zone situations. We’ve got to make it an extended focus, to make sure we’re executing. We had some mistakes that you just can’t afford to make.”

The coach added that he sees a lot of parity in the league and that, with some improvements, Arlington can be competitive at the end of the season. They’ll test their progress against a formidable Tomahawk running game at home Oct. 2.

“We feel if we continue to get better we could go 4-1 in the second half of the season and make the playoffs,” Dailer said.

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