The Mercer Island football team survived a close game against Interlake on Friday night, winning 29-22.
“I don’t think there is one individual,” said head coach Brett Ogata of standouts on Friday night. “But as a team, when we needed to rally at the end of the game, the defense did a great job of rallying and making plays for us. That’s what the team is about. We got beat up tonight, and a lot of guys got hurt. Interlake’s a tough team and they played us tough. But we got the win.”
The Islanders had a control of the game early on, scoring three unanswered touchdowns against the Saints. Risley Lesko started the evening with 10:15 to go in the first quarter, scoring on a 1-yard run for a 7-0 start. With 4:30 left in the first, Zack Bucklin hit the mark on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Brian Higgins. The two-point conversion made the game 15-0. The third touchdown of the night was from Matt Orehek, off a 14-yard pass from Higgins. With just 1:16 on the clock, Interlake scored its first points of the night when Kamana Adriano made a 49-yard run. Mercer Island was up 22-7 at halftime.
After the break, Mercer Island’s Matt Orehek scored on an 8-yard run with 9:01 to give the Islanders a 29-7 lead. Interlake surged, as Adriano scored on a 19-yard pass at the end of the third quarter on a run into the end zone, making it a 29-15 game to end the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Interlake’s quarterback Trevor Lyon scored on a run into the corner with 8:31 left on the clock, putting the Saints within striking distance of the Islanders. The score was 29-22.
After Mercer Island was unable to score on their next possession, Interlake took control with 1:44 left on the clock. The Saints made a long throw downfield, hitting the 20-yard mark, but an ineligible receiver penalty on the Saints side moved the ball back to the 38-yard line. Interlake’s Lyon threw three times, but each was called incomplete, and was sacked on fourth down, ending the Saints drive and chance to win the game.
“The whole year we’ve worked on pass defense and hitting it off on the end,” said Ogata. “We had some younger guys step up because of all the injuries. It’s a good win tonight for us, and we’ll come back next week.”
The Islanders had a total 389 yards, to Interlake’s 364. The Islanders had 157 yards rushing and 232 passing, but lost 111 yards on 12 penalties.
The Islanders will travel to Juanita next Friday, Oct. 5 in the first of two away games in a row.
Mercer Island head coach Brett Ogata said the close game against Interlake will be good for the team with two road games, preparing them for the tough KingCo opponents to come.
“I think it’s good that we got a close one that was a win. The next two are going to be away and we will know how to win a tough one like this.That’s an important piece for us,” said the coach.
Juanita is 2-3 so far this season, losing 49-0 to Bellevue last Friday night.
The following week the team will head to Liberty, before returning home on Oct. 19 for homecoming against Mount Si.