The Eagles take second in the WesCo 3A North with a 17-10 win over the Tomahawks, who took fifth.
MARYSVILLE – Anthony Whitis reminded fans of another shorter quarterback that plays a little farther south of Quil Ceda Stadium Friday night.
The Arlington quarterback saved the Eagles’ offense with several Russell Wilson-like scrambles and led Arlington to a 17-10 victory over WesCo 3A North rival Marysville-Pilchuck.
Eagles coach Greg Dailer praised his senior, who finished 17 of 33 for 166 yards and a touchdown, for making his play calling look good. Whitis extended several plays with his legs and added 17 carries for 64 yards and another score on the ground.
“None of the plays I drew up were working. It was just him running around getting things done,” Dailer said with a laugh. “It’s great having him. He’s just such a playmaker.”
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With the win, the Eagles clinch the No. 2 seed in next week’s WesCo crossovers and will play at Shorewood, the second-place team from the WesCo 3A South.
Arlington (6-2, 4-2 WesCo) could have finished as low as fourth with a loss. The Tomahawks (5-3, 3-3), who finish fifth and were eliminated from the postseason, could have placed as high as second with a win.
“It’s one of those leagues that you could go from fifth to first,” Whitis said. “… It’s just so even, and that’s what makes it tough. You’re in danger of missing the playoffs if you drop one game.”
The game seemed destined to be a shootout after Arlington marched down the field on its opening drive. The Eagles went 68 yards in six plays with a 1-yard run by quarterback Anthony Whitis capping the drive early in the first quarter.
But that proved to be the only scoring in the first half.
Arlington doubled its lead on its first drive of the second half when Whitis found Griffin Gardoski for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Marysville-Pilchuck quickly responded with a 72-yard touchdown pass from Jake Elwood to Jordan Justice on its next offensive play to trim the Eagles’ lead back to seven.
The two teams exchanged field goals in the fourth quarter, but the Tomahawks, who specialize in the ground game with a wing-T offense, couldn’t return to the end zone.
Trenton Hurst had 14 carries for 110 yards and added the big touchdown reception for Marysville-Pilchuck.
“It starts and ends with their quarterback and how he rolls around,” Carson said. “… We just needed to play a little bit cleaner, offensively, for us to be successful. We had a couple calls that kind of killed some drives.”
Gardoski finished with seven receptions for 66 yards. Fellow receiver Joey Stretch, who was injured in the first quarter, returned to collect four receptions on 54 yards.
“It just feels amazing. This whole year,” Whitis said. “This just gives us a ton of momentum and confidence on offense and defense.”