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Mercer Island prepares for Ferndale in week 10 playoff | Prep football results

Quarterback Brian Higgins runs with the ball during the Islanders 52-7 win over Lake Washington last Friday. The Islanders will host their first playoff game against Ferndale this Friday at 7:30 p.m. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
Quarterback Brian Higgins runs with the ball during the Islanders 52-7 win over Lake Washington last Friday. The Islanders will host their first playoff game against Ferndale this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

Mercer Island secured a last win of the regular season beating Lake Washington 52-7 on Friday, Oct. 28.

With the win the Islanders solidified their finish as the No. 2 team in KingCo and move forward in next week’s first round of the playoffs. For the first time in program history, the Islanders will host the first playoff game, this Friday against Ferndale. Ferndale is the No. 1 seed out of the Northwest Conference in Whatcom County. The Eagles are 5-4 overall and 2-0 in league games. The last time the Islanders won a playoff game was in 1988, against Puyallup, when current head coach Brett Ogata was the leading receiver for the Islanders.

“It’s nice to get a home game,” said Ogata of the first round playoff match at Islander Stadium. “The kids are excited, but they are focused and not too excited.”

Even with home field advantage Mercer Island will have to bring it’s top game, knowing Ferndale won’t sit back and watch the game.

“Ferndale has done well as a program because they are very well coached,” said Ogata. “We’re going to have to beat Ferndale, they aren’t going to beat themselves. We have to be better than them.”

The game started at Lake Washington with an 80-yard kickoff return for points with 11:48 on the clock by Steen Swedstedt, making it 7-0. Just a minute later the Islanders scored again, this time on a play involving a hand off from quarterback Jeff Lindquist to Brian Higgins, who lobbed it back to Lindquist, who tossed it on a 41-yard pass to Nicky Sinclair for the points. The score was 14-0 with 10:15 to go in the first quarter.

Blake Johnson scored on an 8-yard run with 5:45 on the clock, while Sinclair connected again on a 44-yard pass from Lindquist to make it 28-0 at the end of the first.

Alex Wood began the second quarter with a 33-yard field goal for Mercer Island to up the score to 31-0, followed by an interception by Connor Bernal on the 17-yard line. He ran it in for the points.

With 2:37 on the clock in the half, Lake Washington’s Jack Michels caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Young to score the only Kang points of the night. The score was 38-7.

Before the half finished, Eric Stefanchik scored off a 91-yard pass from Higgins to make it 45-7 at halftime. The pass from Higgins to Stefanchik was longest of his career at MIHS, and was 15-yard longer than Lindquist’s best.

During the first half the Islanders had amassed 270 yards, while holding Lake Washington to just 90 on the field. In the second half, the teams remained closer with Mercer Island gaining 75, and Lake Washington earning 48.

The Islanders scored again in the third quarter when Higgins made a 6-yard run into the endzone, starting a running clock as the Islanders had 52 points. The fourth quarter was scoreless as the clock ran down, with the teams leaving the field under a 52-7 scoreboard.

Ogata said the game against Lake Washington showcased the team as a whole, not just the starters.

“Execution,” was what worked, said Ogata agains the Kangs. “The kids came out and played well. Everyone did, not just the starters, but the backups and everyone. It was a nice team effort.”

The final score is just third time Mercer Island has earned more than 50 points in a team. The two previous times were against Interlake in 2006 and in 1998. It’s also the largest victory margin for the team in it’s history.

Mercer Island finished the regular season 7-2 overall and 6-1 in league. Lake Washington finished with a 2-7 overall record.

MI playoff tickets on sale now

Tickets for the first MIHS playoff football game of the year, against Ferndale, will be sale this week, both at the game, and in advance. The game will take place on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Season’s passes and Booster Club passes will not be valid for the game. Tickets are $7 for adults, $4 for seniors (ages 62 and up) and children ages 5-11, as well as students with a valid IMS or MIHS ASB card.

Tickets will be sold on Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Islander Stadium, as well as Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the MIHS commons.

The ticket booth will open Friday at 5:30 p.m.

 

 

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