Spartans retain Coal Bucket in Carbon win
|Ryne Jones carries the ball for Emery as he ducks his head and plunges ahead to gain some extra yardage.|
Before a packed crowd and a live TV audience, the Emery High Spartan football team continued their dominance over the Carbon Dinos with a solid 34-6 win. With the win, the Spartans also retained the "Coal Bucket", which is a symbol of the friendly rivalry existing between the two Castle Country high schools.
The game had special prominence because it was the "Game of the Week" on KJZZ TV Channel 14 in Salt Lake City. It was shown live to the entire viewing area of KJZZ, which included all of Utah and some neighboring states.
Emery, which had won the JV game the day before, took control of the game in the first quarter and never relinquished control to the Dinos. After a Dino interception on a short Dempsey Jeffs pass, the Dinos started their first series at midfield on the Emery 49-yard line.
On the fourth play of the drive, Carbon fumbled and Emery linebacker Ryne Jones recovered at the Emery 33-yard line. On the first play of the series, Ryne Jones took the handoff to the right and scored from 67 yards out. Gatlin Huntington kicked the extra point and Emery led 7-0.
|Emery and Carbon both jump for the football which sails on past.|
On the next series for the Dinos, Carbon started at their 38-yard line. After a 39-yard run by Davey Cox, Carbon quarterback Joey Keller threw an interception to Emery linebacker Chance Ariotti. Emery started their drive at their own 41-yard line.
After picking up 17 yards on the ground, Jeffs connected with Jordan Gee on a pass play that covered 45 yards and Gee scored. Emery led 14-0 after Huntington again kicked an extra point.
On the next Carbon series that started on their 35 yard line, Keller threw another interception. This time, Emery's Blake Mortensen returned it for a touchdown. The extra point kick was blocked this time. As the first quarter was running down, Emery now led 20-0.
Emery scored again in the second quarter. After a Cody Allen interception of a Carbon pass, Emery started a drive at their own 46 yard line. After an incomplete pass and a Gee run of 24 yards, fullback Mike Jones carried the ball twice for a 13-yard pickup and 15-yard pickup. He fumbled on the second run but Cody Allen was there to recover for the Spartans. Gee carried for no gain and then Mike got the touchdown up the middle on a 3-yard run. Again the kick was no good and the score at the half was 26-0 for Emery.
Leading rusher and leading tackler Ryne Jones went down with a foot injury after his second carry of the day and did not play again in the game. Ryne had two carries for 76 yards and two tackles when he left the game in the first quarter.
|This fumble is Emery's only turnover in the game.|
In the second half, Emery would score one more time as the determined Dinos refused to go quietly away. Ariotti scored from 1-yard out at the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a drive that started at the Emery 44-yard line, Ariotti carried the ball 11 times in the 14-play drive. Every handoff was straight up the middle as the backup fullback refused to be stopped. Ariotti finished the game with 12 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. Jeffs added a 2-point run for the final points.
Starting fullback Mike Jones carried the ball 15 times and picked up 74 yards and also scored a touchdown.
Carbon was able to find the end zone only once in the game and that was on their very last drive of the game. Starting at their own 45-yard line, Carbon's Brandon Branch attempted seven straight passes and completed five of them, the final for a touchdown. Carbon was aided on the drive by a pass interference call against Emery that, thanks to the TV coverage, appeared doubtful.
On the very next play, Branch ran to his right and appeared to fumble the ball on a tackle with Emery recovering the loose ball. The officials ruled him down before the fumble and Carbon retained the ball. Carbon would score on the very next play on a 20-yard pass play to from Branch to Jordan Tatton.
The KJZZ announcers disagreed with the fumble call on the field and the replays showed that the ball indeed slipped away while the runner was still standing straight up and still on his feet. Emery wanted the shutout but it was not to be.
The yardage for the two teams was similar as Emery had 276 yards of total offense and Carbon had 225 yards of offense. Emery only turned the ball over once while the Dinos turned the ball over four times.
Emery will now travel to Juan Diego in Draper this Friday night and then return home next week for the first time in five weeks. Game time is 7 p.m.