Lindquist nearly sparks comeback, Borer has big night | MI football sees future in 40-33 loss

Islanders WR Bryce Borer (81) makes a reception for a touchdown in the first half at Newport Friday. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islanders WR Bryce Borer (81) makes a reception for a touchdown in the first half at Newport Friday.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

The Mercer Island football team lost a shootout on Friday night at Newport, 40-33, but got a glimpse of the future in freshman quarterback Jeff Lindquist.

“I had a lot of butterflies,” said Lindquist, who is the first freshman quarterback to play in a varsity game in at least the last three decades. “They didn’t go away until after the first drive.”

The freshman entered the game prior to halftime after senior starting quarterback Sam Bliss suffered a concussion.

Lindquist came into a game dominated by offense and held his own. The freshman finished the game 5-for-10 for 97 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 21 yards.

Lindquist’s first varsity drive ended in a punt, but calmed the freshman’s nerves. The next offensive play for the Islanders will be one that 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 tackles and took the ball into the end zone for a 56-yard score. Borer would finish with 191 yards on four catches with three touchdowns. The play gave Mercer Island hope as the team pulled within 34-26 of Newport.

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 Knights’ lead back to two touchdowns.

“Some guys were out of position and missed tackles,” said Coach John Williams. “We have to coach them better.”

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.

Bliss’ performance during the first half was dominating as he was 7-for-9 for 177 yards with two touchdown passes.

“I thought we did well on offense the entire game,” said Williams. “Both guys did well under center. I am deeply pleased.”

Bliss also ran for 37 yards and a touchdown behind his offensive line David Courtney, Chris Kaestle, Charles Asmus, Michael Butowicz and David Kuhn.

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