Football succumbs to Mount Si during homecoming game

The Mount Si football team, which squeaked a win past 4A powerhouse Issaquah earlier in the season, showed up to play against Mercer Island on Friday night, beating the Islanders during its homecoming game, 21-13.

The evening started off with a Mercer Island touchdown after quarterback Jeff Lindquist found Ben Emanuels in the end zone with 6:23 left in the first quarter for a 9-yard pass. The Islanders defense held off Mount Si for the rest of the first quarter, before the Wildcats found its opening six seconds into the second quarter of the game. Joe Farmer caught an 18-yard pass from Chris Clark to tie the game at seven points.

With 5:13 left in the half, the Wildcats connected to score again after a 1-yard run from Chaz Blair to give Mount Si the 14-7 lead. With just under a minute left in the half, Donny Hendrickson of Mount Si made his own 1-yard run to earn the touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 21-7 lead heading into the half.

During the first half, both teams found themselves on the receiving end of penalty calls, ranging from holding and false starts to illegal substitution.

Head coach Brett Ogata said that has a tendency to happen when two teams are trying to get to the top of their game.

“That was just two teams trying to get the upper hand, and that’s what happens,” he said.

Heading into the second half, the Islanders held off the Mount Si offensive attempts, keeping the Wildcats scoreless in the final two quarters of play. After holding off their opponent for most of the third quarter, the Islanders made an offensive sprint late in the third, with a 14-yard line run from senior Steven Taylor, and a complete pass to Connor Bernal from Lindquist with 3:36 left to play. Lindquist took the ball into the end zone with a 3-yard run after the offensive line made a big hole for him to run through. Alex Wood’s kick attempt was blocked, and the score jumped to 21-13.

“The defense really came out. They didn’t let Mount Si score in the second half; they made adjustments at halftime to keep with it,” said Ogata, following the match.

The team has had to battle against injuries, as many of the Islander starting players were standing on the sideline on Friday night.

“I hate to say it’s a factor because the kids out there are battling, but you can’t substitute experience. The younger kids are getting experience, but it’s not the same,” said Ogata.

Junior Ben Emanuels missed the second half of the game following a mild concussion, joining Bard Idzik and Erik Swedstedt on the sidelines, among others, as Islanders who were not able to play.

This Friday, the team begins a two-week road trip. The Islanders travel to Ingraham for a non-league game beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday before heading to Sammamish on Oct. 23. They will play their last regular game of the season at home against Juanita on Oct. 30.

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