Islanders crushed by Liberty, 35-14

By Matt Phelps

Mercer Island Reporter

The Mercer Island High School football team had few answers for Liberty in a 35-14 loss Friday. Liberty running back Greg Ericksen ran over around and through the Mercer Island defense on his way to 136 yards on six caries with two touchdowns.

Liberty was the team struggling on the first drive of the game as it had no answers for Mercer Island's smash-mouth running game. The Islander's drove 77 yards, taking 10 minutes off the clock. But despite the success of the running game on the drive, 17 of the 19 plays, Mercer Island stalled inside the Patriots two-yard line. Three plays of one yard or less led to a turnover on downs, with Liberty starting from its own goal line.

Five plays into the Liberty drive, Ericksen would set the tone of the rest of the game by busting into the Islander secondary and rumbling for a 56-yard touchdown run.

The Islanders went back to the passing game on their ensuing possession, but an interception on first down gave Liberty the ball on the Islander one-yard line. Two plays later Liberty had a 14-0 lead. The next Islander possession also resulted in interception.

Liberty would add two more touchdowns before half time, including a 46-yard touchdown run by Ericksen.

Mercer Island's first score of the game would not come until the fourth quarter, as Ben Emanuels picked up an interception of his own, running the ball into the end zone from 45-yard out. Mercer Island got a second interception on Liberty's next drive from defensive lineman Jon Witz.

The Islanders would finish the scoring in the game as Islander quarterback Sam Bliss found Jack Harrison for a six-yard strike inside two minutes left in the game.

The Islanders will travel to Interlake High School to take on the Saints Friday at 7 p.m.

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