What was billed as a matchup of two Class 3A powerhouses ended up being a one-sided affair as No. 4 Ferndale routed No. 10 Arlington, 41-13, in the Golden Eagles’ 3A Wesco North opener.
Senior tailback Cole Semu ran roughshod over Arlington, racking up 231 and four touchdowns on 27 carries. Semu rushed through, over, around and even dragged defenders for yardage.
Other than a couple quick scores by Arlington in the first half, Ferndale (4-0, 1-0 3A Wesco North) controlled the clock, and the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball for most of the contest.
Semu put the Golden Eagles up 14-0 in the first half on a pair of touchdown scampers.
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Arlington made it 14-7 when junior Tallen Williams took a kickoff 86-yards for a touchdown.
Ferndale receiver Watiko Leighton caught a wide-open pass from quarterback James Hinson for a 25-yard score, putting the Golden Eagles up 20-7 in the second quarter.
Arlington scored on a long touchdown pass to make it 20-13 with 6:41 left before the half.
Semu scored again just before the half, smashing through two defenders at the goal line from 8 yards out to make it 27-13.
The third quarter flew by, as Ferndale slugged it out on the ground offensively, allowing Semu to tack on his fourth score, dragging defenders over the goal line from 1-yard out to make it 34-13.
With 3:30 left in the game, Ferndale tailback Gabriel Zwade ran between the tackles from 1-yard out to close out the scoring. Zwade finished with 76 yards and the touchdown on 14 carries. Hinson was 5 for 9 for 106 yards and a touchdown pass.
Turning point of the game
Ferndale’s goal-line stand on fourth down at the 1-yard line, preserved a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles defensive line stuffed Arlington running back Gabriel Green for a loss and kept momentum on Ferndale’s sideline.
Play of the night
Semu’s 52-yard reception on a screen that he nearly took to the end zone before stiff-arming a defender to the ground and getting pushed out of bounds at the 8-yard line was just one of his many big plays.
Unsung hero of the game
Ferndale’s offensive and defensive lines controlled the trenches the entire game, opening holes for Semu and Zwade, and buying plenty of time for Hinson to complete passes.