Islanders fall to Seattle Prep in overtime

A Mercer Island player goes down with the football just short of the goal line during the Islanders overtime loss to Seattle Prep last Saturday at Century Link Field. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
A Mercer Island player goes down with the football just short of the goal line during the Islanders overtime loss to Seattle Prep last Saturday at Century Link Field.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

A week prior to their first game of the season, the Mercer Island football captains said they wanted to beat Seattle Prep decisively, after winning in just the final seconds of the game last year. This year, playing under the lights at Century Link Field, the Islanders did not get their decisive win, but came close.

Seattle Prep won the game in overtime 36-35.

The team's played each other in the final match of the Emerald City Kickoff Classic at Seahawk Stadium, and for the first three quarters it was the Panthers show.

Seattle Prep scored 20 unanswered points before Mercer Island got on the board with a 13-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jeff Lindquist in the middle of the second. A safety followed minutes later for the Islanders, giving the teams a 21-9 score going into the break.

The Islanders, after struggling offensively in the first half, and dealing with penalties that stalled their play, found strength in the defense, forcing a huge yardage loss for the Panthers in the opening minutes of the third quarter. But the offensive troubles followed Mercer Island after a fumble was recovered by Prep with four minutes left in the third quarter. The quarter ended with the same 21-9 score.

In the fourth quarter Prep appeared to be continuing it's domination of the endzone with another touchdown with nine minutes left in the game for a 28-9 score. But Mercer Island made a big move offensively, putting Lindquist on the 1-yard line to score with six minutes left.

Minutes later, Lindquist made a twisting and turning 22-yard run for another touchdown, giving the team's a 29-22 game. Thanks a fumbled kick return, the Islanders got the ball back on the 49 yard line. On that offensive drive the Islanders pushed and prodded their way back down the field, and as time clicked away, they scored with five seconds remaining, with a solid kick to tie the game.

Going into the tiebreaker, each team was given a chance on offense. Seattle Prep scored after several drives into the zone. Despite a holding call on the first kick, the Panthers moved back 10 yards and did it again, for a 39-29 game.

Mercer Island stepped to the line of scrimmage for their turn on offense, whittling things down until the fourth down, with 6 yards to go, when Lindquist threw the ball and it was caught in the endzone by Eric Stefanchik. Alex Wood stepped to the line to kick the ball, but it was partially blocked, missing the mark and the game ended with a 36-35 score.

Next Friday the Islanders will travel to Newport High School for another non-conference football game.

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