Football can’t sustain early momentum

MI loses to Skyline, 48-13

MI loses to Skyline, 48-13

By Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

No one expected the Mercer Island football team to beat Skyline on its home field. After all, the Spartans took out perennial state champion Bellevue 6-0 seven days earlier. But Islander Phillip Seda gave his team and its fans one quarter of hope Friday night despite the 48-13 loss.

Determined to give his team a good field position, Seda took the opening kickoff on the left hash-mark. Following a wall of blockers, Seda’s legs just kept moving, eventually getting him to the Spartan sideline where he could utilize his speed. He ran past one defender, then another, to spring free and sprint to the end zone. The score gave Mercer Island an early lead.

“Seda played a great game,” said Mercer Island quarterback Thomas Hollowed. “We were all really excited at that point.”

The Islander fans in the west stands cheered as the extra point gave their team more points against Skyline in the first 30 seconds of the game than Bellevue scored against the Spartans.

The Islanders continued the momentum with their defense, forcing a three-and-out on the Spartans’ first possession, including three incomplete passes.

“Our d-backs played a lot better this week, but I think that was because we threatened them,” joked Mercer Island head coach Bill Heglar. “They worked hard this week and played really hard.”

But the Islander offense couldn’t match the excitement of the special team’s play, returning the ball to the home team after three snaps. The series seemed invigorating for the Spartan offense as they drove 57 yards in 11 plays, eventually tying the game on a one yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown.

The Islanders racked up 43 yards on 11 plays during their next possession, but the drive ended on a fourth down dropped pass. Skyline took advantage after a long drive, scoring on the fifth play of the second quarter, a 22-yard pass play to take the lead 14-7.

Skyline’s defense put the clamps on Mercer Island, allowing just 22 yards of offense during the rest of the first half.

The Spartans continued their dominance during the third quarter, scoring a touchdown on their first two possessions. The only offense for Mercer Island, a 46-yard run by Seda, was negated by a fumble two plays later.

Mercer Island finally got back into the end zone as Hollowed found Graham Maxwell on a screen pass. The 200 pound fullback ran 65 yards down the Skyline sideline for the score. Maxwell was the Islander’s leading receiver with 99 yards and also led the team in rushing with 53 yards.

Skyline would put seven more points on the board on a six-yard pass to close out the scoring.

The Spartans’ high powered offense threw 32 times for 281 yards during the game.

The Islanders biggest offensive threat came from five different running backs compiling 142 yards on 40 carries.

For one Spartan the victory was bitter sweet. Mercer Island High School teacher and Skyline offensive coordinator Brett Ogata had mixed feeling about his old team.

“It was awkward,” said Ogata. “I felt like I should have been on the other sideline. I am glad it’s over.”

The Islanders will host Mount Si at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The team has been outscored 102-20 in its first two game of the year.

“This week will give us a chance to work with the kids,” said Heglar. “But we have to score more points.”