A battle between formidable defenses was on display in a nonleague contest between the Issaquah Eagles and Mercer Island Islanders on the gridiron.
Mercer Island won the defensive slugfest, earning a 13-0 win against Issaquah on Sept. 7 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah.
The Eagles had multiple opportunities to score but couldn’t convert. With 7:39 left in the second quarter, the Eagles had possession of the ball at their own 39-yard line. Issaquah marched 51 yards in 11 plays and faced a fourth down with one yard to go with 54 seconds left in the first half. After calling a timeout, Issaquah quarterback Trevor Morine was thrown for a 1-yard loss on a quarterback draw, preventing the Eagles from keeping their drive alive.
With 6:27 left in the third quarter and the Eagles driving again, Mercer Island forced an Issaquah ball carrier to fumble the ball as he ran toward the end-zone. The ball traveled out of bounds as Mercer Island regained possession due to the touchback. With 6:03 left in regulation and the Islanders leading the Eagles 7-0, Mercer Island linebacker Will Mulflur sacked Issaquah quarterback Trevor Morine on a fourth down with 15 yards to go, giving possession of the ball back to the Islanders deep in Eagles territory. Mercer Island running back Jack Clayville scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 5:21 left in the game, extending the Islanders lead to 13-0.
Issaquah head coach Buddy Bland remained upbeat following the setback against Mercer Island.
“This is one game. We are not going to panic after one game. Our defense did an outstanding job tonight. We gambled and they made a big play (fourth down attempt with 6:03 left in regulation) and then they went in to score (Clayville’s second touchdown run). It is a tough one but it’s nonleague so we’re going to learn from this and keep moving forward,” Bland explained.
Issaquah quarterback Trevor Morine was disappointed his team wasn’t able to put any points on the board.
“It is tough right now. We just got to capitalize when we have the chance to score,” Morine said.
Issaquah defensive lineman Tyler Odegard had a team-high three sacks in the loss. Eagles’ defensive back Gaje Gunter had an interception in the loss as well. Morine said Odegard brings his team an edge they need.
“He is a competitor, he is a fighter and he doesn’t give up. We need that,” Morine said of Odegard.
Issaquah will face the Liberty Patriots at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Liberty High School.
“Liberty is a great program. They are a prideful program and have lots of wins under their belts. The games are just going to get harder and harder for us. We just got to get better and better,” Bland said.