Spartans to head south for football play-off game
After leading 22-8 at the half, the Emery High Spartans failed to stop the North Summit offense in the second half and the Spartans lost a key region football game to the Braves 43-29. In a game that decided which Region 15 team would host a playoff game while the other would have to travel to start 2-A playoffs, Emery came up short and will now travel to Enterprise this week for a first round match-up. Game time is this Thursday at 2 p.m.
In the first half of the Friday night game, Emery scored three of the first four times they had the ball. Emery's defense allowed one first half touchdown while stopping four other drives, two of which ended with Emery recovering a North Summit fumble.
In the second half, fortunes seemed to be reversed. Emery had the ball six times with five drives ending short of the goal line. North Summit also had the ball six times but they scored on five of those possessions.
Leading 29-28 with midway through the fourth quarter, Emery recovered a Brave fumble at the Brave 45-yard line. Emery marched to the 20-yard line where the drive stalled and North Summit took over.
North Summit then scored in four plays to take their first lead of the game. Emery then started their next drive at their 35-yard line and again marched down the field to the North Summit 25-yard line where once again the Spartan drive stumbled and Emery was kept out of the end zone. A touchdown here would have tied the score. North Summit then scored again to put the game out of reach.
Sophomore Marco Mota, starting in the place of injured senior Jesse Winn, ran the ball 20 times picking up 143 yards and Marco scored three touchdowns. Jesse's season ended a couple of weeks ago after suffering a neck injury. Winn was the leading rusher and leading scorer for Emery when his season ended.
Mota scored on a 47-yard run on Emery's first series of the game, scored on an 11-yard run at the end of the first half and scored Emery's only second half touchdown on a 49-yard run.
Wide receiver David Dyer scored Emery's other touchdown on a pass play from Spencer Labrum that went for 37 yards.
Emery's offense gained 372 yards in the ballgame and held North Summit to 158 first half yards. Emery gave up 274 yards in the second half of the game that sealed the loss. Emery also caused three fumbles in the game and recovered all three while Emery had no turnovers.
In other region action, Manti defeated Millard in a game between two teams with no region losses and the Templars claim the region crown and are a favorite to win the title this season. South Summit finished third after defeating Gunnison, North Summit was fourth, Emery was fifth and ALA claimed the final region spot in the state tournament.San Juan finished first in the other 2-A region as they also went undefeated for the season. The Broncos are two-time defending state champions. Richfield, Beaver and Enterprise all finished tied for second with 5-2 region records. Coin flips decided the placement of the teams.