Arlington football puts on show in Ballard

SEATTLE — After nearly an eight-month break, Arlington football fans attending the Eagles' scrimmage against Ballard High School saw enough to hold them over to the start of the fall season — but might be too excited to sleep for a month.

The Eagles put on a show on both sides of the ball, imposing their will on host Ballard July 28.

"It was a nice trip for many of our kids," said Arlington coach Greg Dailer. "But we've still got a lot of work to do. We're talented, although we're still going the wrong ways sometimes, but we are way ahead of any of my other teams in the past."

In what would become routine throughout the scrimmage, junior quarterback Blake McPherson began the scrimmage with a 35-yard sneak, catching the entire Beavers' defense by surprise.

"He's our stud QB," said Dailer. "Andy Smith (2010 grad) was a great throwing quarterback, but with Blake's ability, we're able to run a lot more of our offense."

Dailer, who is in his third year as head coach at Arlington, runs a spread offense that relies on a multi-faceted quarterback to distribute through the air or advance the ball on the ground when opportune.

McPherson also showed his throwing ability, firing a number of touchdown passes to very capable receivers, while Arlington was able to keep Ballard off guard with running back Riley Cobb's rushing.

While not a traditional scrimmage, there were no special teams and the format generated comprehensive looks for both coaches. Each team started on the opposing team's side of the ball, getting 10 plays from the 40. From there, they would move the ball closer to the end zone until they had a pair of goal-line series.

While the offense scored with ease in highlight fashion, Arlington's defense showed the most improvement from the previous season, which is something Dailer said he has emphasized during the spring and summer.

"I'm more of an offensive coach, but I've been focusing on defense lately because it's so important to stop the other team," he said. "But we have some tremendous athletes on defense and our speed will help us be more successful stopping the ball."

Dailer pointed out key improvements at the outside linebacker and safety positions, which will limit the opponents ability to take the ball to either sideline.

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