Football has few answers for Liberty | Mercer Island loses 35-14 to eighth best team in the state, prepares for contest at Interlake on Friday

The Mercer Island High School football team had few answers for the eighth ranked team in the state, Liberty, during a 35-14 loss on Friday.

The Patriots’ running back, Greg Ericksen, ran over, around and through the Mercer Island defense on his way to 136 yards on six carries 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 Islanders drove 77 yards, taking 10 minutes off the clock. But despite the success of the running game on the drive, including 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 Liberty’s first drive, Ericksen would set the tone for the rest of the game by busting into the Islander secondary and rumbling for a 56-yard touchdown run. The Islanders gave up a total of 316 yards to the Patriot offense during the game.

Mercer Island went to its passing game on the ensuing possession, but an interception on the 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 an interception.

Liberty would add two more touchdowns before halftime, 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 off the Liberty quarterback for an interception of his own, running the ball into the end zone from 45 yards out.

Mercer Island got a second interception on Liberty’s next drive when big defensive lineman Jon Witz put his hands up and grabbed the ball.

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