Long before Isaac Fisher ever played a down or threw his first pass as the quarterback at McKendree University, he was already a member of the Bearcats football family.
The middle son of John and Dodie Fisher of Washington, Isaac Fisher got the thrill of watching as older brother Austin Fisher set numerous records from 2007-11 while playing quarterback at McKendree during a stellar four-year career.
And like he did at Washington High School, located near Peoria, Isaac Fisher has followed in his brothers footsteps very well. In the twilight of a record-shattering four-year career of his own, Isaac Fisher has broken or should break all of his brother’s records at McKendree before the end of the 2015 season.
And when he does, the one leading the cheers will be Austin Fisher.
Austin Fisher threw for more then 4,300 yards and 39 touchdowns in a much more conservative McKendree offense under former coach Carl Poelker.
“Austin was and still is a great big brother who was a great role model and friend. He taught me a lot about playing quarterback and we still talk every week after each game,’’ Isaac Fisher said. “We are still very close and in no way is he upset that I’m breaking records he set here at McKendree. He’s happy for me.’’
Austin and the rest of the Fisher family have no doubt been beaming over Isaac’s first two games of the 2015 season. Fisher has completed 56-of-80 passes for 722 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions for a Bearcats squad which will take a 2-0 record to Liberty, Mo., on Saturday for its Great Lakes Valley Conference opener against William Jewell University.
Well up the NCAA Division II all-time list in several offensive catagories, Fisher earned his second straight GLVC Player of the Week honor last Saturday when he threw for 369 yards, three touchdowns and directed two fourth-quarter scoring drives as the Bearcats rallied for a 27-24 victory over Northwood University.
“It’s nice to be recognized, but honestly, I certainly couldn’t have attained these honors without my teammates,” Fisher said. “The defense doing its job and stopping their (Northwood’s) offense and getting the ball back for us, the offensive line doing a great job of blocking and the receivers — like Cameron James and Dustin Walls and Sean (Dowling), all of whom had big catches and games last week ––getting open and making big plays late in the game. It was a team effort.
“The numbers were important simply because they helped us win the game. That’s what I’m concerned about. Helping this football team win games. We’re 2-0 with another big test this week.’’
Still, Fisher’s overwhelming numbers during his four-year career are hard to ignore.
Fisher is the Bearcats’ all-time leader in total offense (7,574 yards), pass attempts (971) completions (593), passing yards (6,438) and touchdowns with (52). Through two games this year, Fisher leads the GLVC in passing (361.5 yards per game), total offense (456 yards per game) and rushing (94.5 yards per game)
Fisher is also ranked in the top 10 all time in NCAA Division II football in total offense (7,574 yards), where he is ninth and passing (6,438) where he is 10th.
Fisher also has the intangibles that all great quarterbacks possess. Namely, the ability to lead and the poise and confidence to make big plays when the game is on the line.
“Isaac has a different type personality, but without question he’s one of the most competitive kids that I’ve ever coached,’’ Bearcats coach Mike Babcock said. “On the sidelines, he’s always there talking to his teammates and in the huddle he’s a take -charge type player. There is no doubt that he is truly one of the leaders on this football team.
“He’s the type of quarterback who can beat you with his arm either sitting back in the pocket or on the run. And if he sees a seam, he can’s got the ability to beat you with his running ability. He also makes good decisions with the football.’’
One decision Fisher doesn’t have to make is that this McKendree team is the best he has played on during his four years with the Bearcats football program.
“We’ve had some very good football teams during my career here at McKendree. But I’d have to say this is the best all-around team,’’ Fisher said. “We’re also the closest. We all get along great and I believe that goes a long way towards being a successful football team as well.
“The goal is to take them one game at a time. We’re all focused on one thing and that is winning the GLVC championship and getting that ring. But we realize that we’ve got to do it one game at a time. We can’t afford to look past any team.’’