Emery High Spartans Fall to Cougars in Opener 21-15
|Spartan defenders only allow 17 yards rushing in the second half. Spartans are in all black.|
The Emery Spartans opened the 2004 football season at home last Friday against the Union Cougars and allowed one to slip away. The Cougars took advantage of five Spartan fumbles to escape with the non-region win 21-15.
Sophomore Davey Justice led the Spartans with 114 yards on the ground and two touchdowns and senior Spencer Cook aided with 84 yards rushing. Union's senior quarterback, who passed for 232 yards and three touchdowns, led the Cougars.
Union scored in the first half after an Emery fumble at their own 20 yard line. It took six plays for the Cougars to score on a 9-yard pass. Union scored in the second half after another Emery fumble, this time at the Emery 33 yard line. Union scored their last touchdown with six minutes left in the game on a fourth down play from 15 yards out.
Emery scored in the first half on a 39 yard run by Justice as Emery culminated a 70-yard drive. Emery put two points on the board in the second half as Union had a punt snap go through the end zone for a safety. Emery's final score came on another Justice run, this time for 33 yards after a Tyler Swenson interception.
The Spartans had other opportunities to score. In the second half, on the first play from scrimmage, Trevor Thompson intercepted a Cougar pass and returned it to the 8-yard line. Emery failed to score and turned the ball back over on downs at the 1-yard line. On the next series, the Spartans got to the Cougar 29-yard line before a fumble ended the drive. In the fourth quarter, after the last Cougar score, Emery marched from their own 21-yard line to the Cougar 41-yard line. On an option play that had already picked up a first down, the pitch between the two backs was bad and another fumble ended the series.
Coach Kevin Reynolds had this to say after the game, "I really thought we were ready for this game but mistakes just killed us. We have some pretty good personnel but we can't make mistakes like we did tonight." When asked about Emery's pass coverage he said, "We had some questions coming into the season. We had coverage problems tonight, we took away the slant pass in the second half but they were still successful because our people weren't getting into position properly. We will work on that."
The Emery defense shut down the Cougar rushing offense in the second half, allowing only 17 yards against 100 in the first half. Bruce Clements, Mike Blomquist and Spencer Cook led the defensive effort. The entire front seven for Emery's defense had a good night.
Emery is on the road this week as they travel to Cedar City to play Canyon View. Canyon View lost last Friday to South Summit 9-7. Other region teams did not fare well. Lehi lost to Pine View at home 56-7, North Sanpete lost at Dixie 37-14 and Carbon lost to San Juan 33-0.