Sports

7 different players score touchdowns for Mercer Island in 48-0 win against Ingraham

Islander running back Steve Caditz (23) breaks free for a first quarter touchdown run against Ingraham at Mercer Island on Friday. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Islander running back Steve Caditz (23) breaks free for a first quarter touchdown run against Ingraham at Mercer Island on Friday.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

Too many times this season, the Mercer Island football team has been blown out. But at the annual homecoming game against Ingraham High School on Friday, Mercer Island cashed in some karma for a 48-0 route as seven different Islanders put the ball into the end zone.

“The seven different players scoring? It just happened that way,” said Islander coach John Williams, whose team improved to 2-5. “As our record indicates, we can’t take anything for granted.”

Mercer Island got a fast start as Islander Steve Caditz took a pitch to the right side of the Islander line and ran down the sideline 48 yards for a touchdown. The play came just 44 seconds into the game. The Rams’ ensuing possession lasted one play, resulting in a fumble. Mercer Island took over on Ingraham’s 14-yard line. Four plays later, the Islanders extended their lead to 14-0 on a three-yard fade-rout to the back of the end zone from quarterback Jeff Lindquist to Mike Potoshnik.

Three punts and two fumbles later, and the Islanders would score again, this time on the legs of Lindquist. On fourth and one from Ingraham’s 29-yard line, Lindquist followed his center and wedged his way into the Rams’ secondary. From there Lindquist ran through two tacklers and into the end zone to give the Islanders a 21-0 lead.

Ingraham’s next drive ended in a punt, and the Islanders scored again as Kurtis Rosengreen busted through the line, sprinting 27 yards for a touchdown.

Ingraham’s next drive resulted in its fourth punt of the game.

This time, the Islanders took over in their own territory for the first time since the opening kickoff. Four plays later, Lindquist and Jack Harrison would hook up for the play of the game. On the second down and 14 yards from their own 46-yard line, Lindquist dropped back, looking for an open receiver. As the pocket collapsed, the freshman scrambled toward his own sideline. With three Ingraham players chasing him, Lindquist threw the ball across his body, 35 yards downfield to Harrison. A catch and two missed tackles later, Harrison put the Islanders’ fifth touchdown on the board.

Ingraham’s next possession resulted in its initial two first downs of the game. But a 10-yard penalty helped to stall the drive and force the team into another punt. A pass from Lindquist to Brad Idzik for 34 yards gave Mercer Island a 41-point lead as the extra point missed its mark.

The Islanders would add one more touchdown, a pass play from Lindquist to Treston Donovan for 13 yards during the third quarter.

Lindquist continues to improve, as the freshman threw to seven different wide receivers for a total of 184 yards and four touchdown passes. The four touchdown passes in one game ties the school record set in 2000 by Justin Hogan.

“That is super that it happened, and I hope he will get five or six in the future,” said Williams.

Lindquist is now five touchdown passes from tying the Mercer Island single-season record with three games remaining on the schedule. Both Sam Hale (1999) and Mark Stillwell (1973) threw 12 touchdown passes in one season.

Mercer Island, as a team, finished with 187 yards rushing and three touchdowns as seven different players ran the ball.

But for as good as the Islander offense looked, the defense looked better, allowing just three first downs during the entire game, one because of a penalty. Ingraham was forced to punt a total of six times, and Mercer Island recovered three fumbles.

“We changed some things on defense, and I think it improved our aggressiveness,” said Williams.

In contrast, the Islanders failed to score on just three of their 10 drives during the game.

Mercer Island still has a chance to finish at .500 for the season and will attempt to get one win closer this Friday when the Islanders host Sammamish High School during All-Island Band Night at Islander Stadium. The kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

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