Spartans to host play-off game Thursday
With a region victory last Friday night over the North Summit Braves by the score of 36-20, the Emery Spartan football team is now busy preparing to host a 2-A state playoff game. Emery will host the Kanab Cowboys this Thursday afternoon in a first round game with game time being set for 5 pm on the Spartan field.
Last Friday night, Emery defeated North Summit with a good second-half of football that was played in less than ideal conditions as it rained most of the game.
Emery went to the locker room for halftime holding on to a slim 22-20 lead. The Spartans came back on the field determined not to let this game slip away from them.
In the second half, each team had possession of the ball three times in one of the quickest games I remember ever being played. Emery scored on their first two possessions and ran the clock out on their third to end the game. On the other hand, North Summit also had three second-half possessions with each ending with a Brave fumble that was recovered by the Spartans.
North Summit received the second half kickoff and started play at their 22-yard line. Three plays later, defensive end George Sorenson tackled the quarterback while forcing a fumble and then Sorenson recovered the fumble giving Emery possession.
After Emery scored on the ensuing possession, Emery kicked off again. This time North Summit started the drive at their 15-yard line. This drive lasted eight plays and gained 34 yards before another fumble ended the Brave possession. It was believed by the coaching staff that Sorenson also caused this fumble. Emery's David Dyer recovered the lost ball.
After Emery scored again, Emery kicked off one more time. This time, North Summit returned the kickoff to their 49-yard line, in good shape to put together a scoring drive. In this final North Summit drive, North Summit again fumbled the ball on the fifth play of the possession. On another tackle made by Sorenson, the ball came loose and linebacker Derrick Dawes recovered at the Emery 36-yard line. Emery then ran off nine plays, gained 34 yards and ended the game with quarterback Spencer Labrum taking a knee on the final two plays.
North Summit, after gaining 214 yards in their first half of play, gained only 69 yards in the second half as the Spartan defense did its job magnificently. Emery, on the other hand, scored touchdowns on five of their seven possessions in the game. The other two drives ended with a fumble and the end of the game.
Emery's first touchdown came on a 20-yard run by fullback Tanner Lake. Cory Cox kicked extra point. Cox scored Emery's second touchdown on a 3-yard run and then Cox kicked the extra point. Tyler Pulli scored the third Spartan touchdown on a 36-yard pass play from quarterback Spencer Labrum. This time Bailey Faimalo, the holder on PAT attempts, rolls out with the ball and completes a pass to receiver Gavin McDermott for two points.
In the second half, Lake scores his second touchdown of the game on a short run but the extra point attempt was no good. Emery's final touchdown came on a run by Dyer that covered 15 yards. Faimalo again completed a pass to McDermott for a two-point play.
Emery had 397 yards of offense in the game with 351 of those yards coming on the ground. Dyer led the way with 145 yards gained on 16 carries. Cox gained 95 yards on 15 carries, Lake gained 51 yards on 9 carries, and Marco Mota gained 48 yards on 11 carries. Jared Shakespeare, the leading rusher for Emery the past several weeks with three straight 100 yard plus games, carried the ball only three times for 18 yards. Shakespeare had an injury that he was nursing and sat out most of the game.
Due to both the weather conditions and the effectiveness of Emery's ground game, Labrum only attempted three passes in the game and completed two of those. Besides Pulli's catch, Faimalo had a reception for 10 yards. Defensively, Dyer led the way with 11 tackles. Pulli and Dawes each had seven tackles with Sorenson, Feichko and Faimalo each having five tackles.