Tomahawks run away with Wesco win

M-P senior running back Chris Larson looks in a throw during the second quarter of a 42-13 victory.   - Photo courtesy RAVON PORTRAITS
M-P senior running back Chris Larson looks in a throw during the second quarter of a 42-13 victory.
— image credit: Photo courtesy RAVON PORTRAITS

ARLINGTON — It took just one quarter for Marysville-Pilchuk to make an adjustment to Arlington’s defense, opening the floodgates to a 42-13 Wesco win Oct. 2, and maintaining a perfect (5-0) record.

Despite allowing a 40-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the score was tied at 7-7 and Arlington’s defensive scheme yielded positive results against the downhill running style of Marysville that has averaged 32 points per game.

“They pretty much put eight guys in the box and it was hard to find a hole,” said Tomahawks fullback Austin Denton.

The Marysville senior broke through in a big way, however, recording his fourth 200-yard game this season and racking up 223 yards on 16 carries and scoring three times. His performance made him just the second player in school history to record multiple 1,000-yard seasons. With four games left in the regular season, Denton has accumulated 1,165 yards — the fifth highest total in M-P history — and 13 TD rushes.

“Overall, we did well against the stacked formation that they used,” said Marysville coach Brandon Carson, who kept the Arlington defense guessing with numerous fake handoffs and pitches. “We are a misdirection team and that worked tonight. And, of course, it helps when your fullback is leading the state in rushing.”

To combat a defensive strategy that was mindful of the power run, Carson started calling runs to the outside, and points starting piling up. The Tomahawks scored 21 points in the second quarter, starting with a ground scores by Zack Hansen (6 yards) and Jarrett Finau (45 yards) before Denton took over. The senior scored on runs of 60, 43 and seven yards throughout the second and third quarters to make the score 42-6 heading into the final frame. In all, the Tomahawks rushed for 449 yards on the ground.

In anticipation of facing so much deception and so many capable running backs, Arlington coach Greg Dailer said he implements a special method of practice before playing Marysville.

“We practice without a football and just try to tackle everybody,” he said.

Arlington scored touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters through the air. The first score was an 8-yard pass from Andy Smith to Connor Varnell and the second was a two-yard reception from Smith to Blake McPherson. Leading M-P defensively was Finau, who recorded five tackles and a sack. The Tomahawks, who didn’t give the ball up offensively, grabbed a pair of interceptions in the second quarter by Dane Widness and Tyler Thompson.

While Carson was happy with the win, he saw a glaring hole that needs to be addressed before next week’s game at home versus Lake Stevens.

“I was a little discouraged with some of the penalties,” he said of a team that incurred seven penalties for 61 yards. “We just have to play smart football.”

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