ARLINGTON — It wasn’t pretty, but No. 17 Arlington limped its way to the Division 3 Northwest semifinals with a 14-7 win over Wayland at Peirce Field on Friday night.
The third-seeded Spy Ponders (7-1) travel to second-seeded Melrose next week.
Arlington broke a 7-7 tie midway through the fourth quarter with junior Frank Roche’s 16-yard TD pass to senior Marco Saenz-Grant that ricocheted off intended receiver Andrew Cunningham. Saenz-Grant caught it off the redirection and took it the additional 3 yards for the winning score.
Roche suffered a high ankle sprain on Arlington’s first offensive series, taking away his running ability and limiting him to a pocket passer.
Senior Seth Coiley started the game at quarterback, but looked far from 100 percent with his own right ankle injury and didn’t play the entire second half, forcing Roche to run the offense.
With all the injuries, sophomore Tom Houston stepped in and carried 15 times for 97 yards. Junior Lukas Stavropoulos added 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“We were very, very limited, so we put in a sophomore and a junior who didn’t really see a lot of time this year, but they ran very, very hard,” Arlington coach John Dubzinski said. “We didn’t make any excuses.”
With the offense struggling, Arlington’s defense surrendered just 77 yards of offense to keep the game close.
Trailing, 7-0, early in the third quarter, Stavropoulos scored from 3 yards out to tie the game.
Roche was held to 26 rushing yards on four carries for the game, and was 3 of 7 for 85 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Wayland took a 7-0 lead at the start of the third quarter when Arlington sophomore quarterback Alec Coleman, forced into the action because of injuries at quarterback, fumbled and Warriors senior Matthew Cramer scooped it up and ran it in from 17 yards out.