Sports

Arlington football suffers first loss

ARLINGTON — Things seemed to be going well for an undefeated Arlington team as they took on unbeaten Lake Stevens in their homecoming game Sept. 26.

Too well.

On their opening possession, the Eagles drove from their own 15-yard line. Running back Chris Myers had a seven-yard carry, while wide receiver Dylan Lindberg had two catches for 39 yards, the second catch good for a big third-down conversion.

The following down, quarterback Jake Parduhn connected with wide receiver Connor Varnell to bring the ball down deep into Viking territory and Parduhn scored on a one-yard touchdown run shortly after.

The defense seemed as solid. On Lake Stevens’ first possession, Arlington recovered a Viking fumble at their 41-yard line. The Eagles were held three and out, but defensive back Alexander Marshman made Lake Stevens pay for their errors as he recovered a second fumble, this time returning it 20 yards for another touchdown.

By the game’s seventh minute, Arlington led 14-0.

Things went downhill from there.

Lake Stevens made adjustments. They got their own offensive in a rhythm, putting together a 65-yard touchdown drive after the second Arlington score. They performed on defense, sacking Parduhn on the next Arlington possession – one of nine sacks on the junior – getting in his face and picking him off for another touchdown.

And as suddenly as Arlington had scored, it was a tied game by the end of the first quarter.

Over the next half hour of regulation, Lake Stevens would go on to outscore Arlington 31-3.

Lake Stevens continued to make mistakes, but Arlington struggled to extract points from those scenarios. One exception took place with five minutes left in the first half. Parduhn had gained a first down on 16-yard keeper, but Arlington was forced to punt after three more downs.

On the recovery, the ball grazed a Lake Stevens return man who failed to grab the ball. Instead Michael Olson fell on the ball for Arlington at the Lake Stevens 26.

A 15-yard catch by Varnell put Arlington at first and goal, but despite a nice run by Myers, the Eagles were forced to go for the field goal.

Trailing by 28 in the fourth quarter and Parduhn feeling a little banged up, Arlington got into a bit of a rhythm on offense by handing the ball off to senior running back Kellen Botten. Still, the Eagles found themselves in third down situations a little too often and Lake Stevens was a little too successful defensively there.

Late in the game as Lake Stevens took over a possession on downs, linebacker Sherman Pruitt managed to take advantage of a mishandled play by the Vikings, recovering the ball and taking it back 24 yards for another six points.

Pruitt’s play demonstrated what Arlington coach Greg Dailer would say was one of the bright spots in a disappointing game.

“The kids never gave up,” he said. “Every week they play to the final whistle. I don’t think we took any steps back this week.”

The loss was Arlington’s first this season and Dailer’s first as the Eagles head coach. Arlington remains one of the first teams in the league to reach three wins, but they’ll face a challenge for their fourth as they face Marysville-Pilchuck Oct. 3.

“I told the boys that it’s about how you come back from the loss,” Dailer added.

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