Spartans prevail over Dinos in rivalry game
With a resounding 51-13 victory over the Carbon Dinos last Friday night in Castle Dale, the Emery High Spartan football team concluded their regular season and the team is now preparing for the 3-A Utah State playoffs and their game against Manti this Friday night at 6 p.m. Manti, the regular season winner of the 3-A South region will host Emery in a quarterfinal game in Manti. Manti finished the season with an 8-2 record while the Spartans finished the season with a 4-6 record. Looking at a pair of late season games and comparing the scores says that this game could and should be competitive.
Manti defeated Canyon View last week 34-20 whereas Emery defeated the same team 36-26 the week before. Both teams lost to Judge Memorial in the past several weeks by similar scores. Emery lost 37-12 while Manti lost 49-20.
Against Carbon, Emery's ground game was working to perfection as the Spartans gained 525 yards on 48 carries in the game. Senior running back Marco Mota led the effort with 285 yards on 16 carries and Mota scored two touchdowns.
Senior Brayden Burke, running from the right side of the offense, gained 171 yards on 14 carries and scored a touchdown.
The Spartans only attempted two passes in the game with quarterback Tai Justice completing one of those for a 42-yard touchdown to receiver Gavin McDermott in the third quarter.
After the two teams battled throughout the first half of play, Emery led at the half 16-7, the Spartans took control early in the third quarter to put the game away. Emery received the second half kickoff and had a first down at their 30-yard line. Burke capped off the drive with a 13-yard run to score. Mota had the long run on the drive at 18 yards. Mota added the 2-point conversion.
On the ensuing Spartan kickoff, the intended squib kick by Emery kicker Thomie Lucas bounced off the back of a Dino return person and Emery's Tyler Olsen recovered at the Carbon 42-yard line. Justice and McDermott connected on the first play and Emery quickly scored again.
After Carbon returned the next kickoff to their 31-yard line, the Dinos threw an interception on their third play to Spartan safety Austin Allred and Emery had the ball back. Allred had a good game at safety as another interception was nullified by a penalty and he knocked down several other passes throughout the game.
After the interception Emery quickly added another score as Mota scored on a 36-yard run. McDermott caught a Justice pass for the two-point conversion. The score had gone from 16-7 to 38-7 within a few minutes.
The Spartans also scored on their final two drives of the game as fullback Korwin McPherren scored on a 1-yard run and Allred capped off the game by scoring on a 7-yard run.
After suffering many injuries throughout this season, the Spartans had a little good news as lineman Duncan Thomas returned to action following a foot injury suffered early in the season. Thomas saw limited action in this game but should see more this coming week as this will help alleviate a depth problem the Spartans have suffered from throughout the season.
In the other quarterfinal contests, Grantsville will travel to Juab, Richfield will travel to Morgan and North Sanpete will travel to Judge Memorial. While the Salt Lake newspapers have the home teams favored in each contest, the Progress would not be surprised to have all of the 3-A North teams win this Friday.