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Islander football sees future in 40-33 loss to Newport
By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter
The Mercer Island football team lost a shootout Friday night at Newport 40-33 but a got a glimpse of the future in freshman quarterback Jeff Lindquist.
"I had a lot of butterflies," said Lindquist. "They didn't go away until after the first drive."
The freshman entered the game prior to half time after senior starting quarterback Sam Bliss suffered a concussion.
Lindquist entered a game dominated by offense and held his own. The freshman finished the game 5-for-10 for 97 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 21 yards.
Lindquist's first varsity drive ended in a punt, but calmed the freshman down. The next offensive play for the Islanders will be one Lindquist will always remember. On first down from the Islander 44-yard line, Lindquist found Bryce Borer 26 yards down field. Borer made two defensive backs miss and took the ball into the end zone for a 56-yard score. The play gave Mercer Island hope as they pulled within 34-26 of Newport. But a strong running attack from the Knights continued to bull over the Islander defensive line as a 69-yard run on the next play from scrimmage put the Knight's lead back to two touchdowns.
Lindquist would lead the Islanders back as he found senior Jack Harrison in the end zone on a 20-yard pass with less than a minute left.
"He has a cannon for an arm and he played a great game," said Harrison. "He was awesome."
The ensuing on-side kick would end up going to Newport as the Knights pulled out the victory.
But this night was one that Lindquist will never forget as he is the first freshman quarterback to play varsity in at least the last decade.
"I am a lucky guy," said Lindquist.