Arlington stuns Mariner with last second touchdown | Football

Marauder offense scores TDs on its first two possessions
By David Pan | Sep 05, 2018

Mariner needed a stop to pull out a victory in its season opener against Arlington.

Instead the Eagles came up with the play of the night – a 5-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Anthony Whitis to wide receiver Griffin Gardoski with one second left in the fourth quarter – to lift Arlington to a stunning 27-23 victory over the Marauders in a nonconference football game Friday, Aug. 31, at Goddard Stadium.

Mariner appeared to be in a good position to secure the victory after Jackson Cole booted a 30-yard field goal to give the Marauders a 23-20 lead with 1:38 to go in the contest.

The Eagles took over the ball at their own 19 and proceeded to drive down the field for the winning score.

“You feel pretty good,” Mariner coach Mark Stewart said. “You need to get a stop. We had one kid who had an opportunity. He had his hands on the ball. … Their quarterback is pretty talented. We knew he was going to be hard to handle.”

The Mariner offense produced touchdowns on its first two drives to take a 13-7 lead into the second quarter. Quarterback Denis Biryuk, making his first start, threw touchdown passes of 10 and 25 yards to Jahee Nelson and Ryan Fry, respectively.

Running back Lamin Jarrow scored on a 3-yard run late in the second quarter to give the Marauders a 20-13 halftime lead.

Arlington’s Whitis ran for a 2-yard TD in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 20.

Stewart noted that the offense had opportunities to extend the lead but mistakes thwarted Mariner.

“We fumbled. Another drive we had a penalty,” Stewart said. “We needed to finish another drive and put the game out of reach.”

The Marauders finished with 399 total yards on offense, while the Eagles had 330. Biryuk completed 14 of 22 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart, Whitis, was 20 of 30 for 252 yards and two TDs.

Mariner’s Josiah Pesterkoff rushed for 77 yards on 14 carries. Jallow had 51 yards on 12 carries.

“I felt really good offensively. Defensively we had our moments,” Stewart said. “In any first game, you’re going to have mistakes. Our kicking game wasn’t great. Our coverage wasn’t there. It gives us something to work on.”

Stewart stressed two points for his players to take from Friday’s loss.

“One, we’re a good football team. Two, we’ve got stuff to correct to become a better football team,” he said. “Regardless of the outcome, the process and approach of the game and what we have to do to get better isn’t going to be any different if that kid hadn’t caught the ball.”

This week Mariner takes on Ballard in a nonconference game at 5 p.m., Sept. 7, at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.

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