Spartans look ahead as successful season ends
|Blake Mortensen puts the tackle on the Wasatch runner.|
Emery lost a quarterfinal 3-A state playoff game last Friday to Wasatch High 38-14. That statement is the story but it is not the whole story. Emery lost but Emery could have and maybe should have won that game and that is the story that will now appear.
Emery opened up the game by receiving the opening kick-off. Emery marched 60 yards before a fumble ended the drive. Mike Jones rushed four times for 16 yards, Ryne Jones ran three times for 21 yards and Dempsey Jeffs completed three of three passes for 23 yards as the Emery offense baffled the Wasatch defenders. Only the turnover prevented Emery from scoring.
Wasatch's first offensive drive was a case of three and out. Their highly touted running back picked up four yards and their quarterback threw up two incompletions and then they punted.
Emery got the ball for the second time at their own 43-yard line and marched into the end zone in just seven plays. Ryne Jones scored on his second carry of the drive from seven yards out. The big play was a 26-yard pass completion to Skyler Jorgenson. At this point Emery owned the Wasps and the Wasps were confused but the tide was about to change.
Little things allowed Wasatch back into the game. Wasatch returned the ensuing kick-off to Emery's 41-yard line. This gave Wasatch a short field to work with and they to advantage of the their good position and scored on a 3-yard run.
The damage was done on a third and 10 play that went for 28 yards. Emery offensively marched 48 yards on their next possession before they had to punt on third and 12. A penalty stopped this drive.
After forcing another Wasp punt on their next series, Emery opened their series at their own 40-yard line. A halfback pass back to the quarterback did not work out well. It was actually a lateral pass, meaning it was a live ball that Wasatch recovered and ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Wasatch was now mentally back into the game. According to Jordan Wright, the Wasatch linebacker that scored on that play, "I really think that turned the game for us."
|Colby Snow hangs onto the ball carrier.|
Emery's next drive stalled after driving to the Wasatch 35-yard line. A 15-yard penalty on third and five did in the Spartans. Wasatch then drove 96 yards to score in the closing minutes of the first half to lead 21-7 at the half.
Emery was outscored in the second half 17-7. Jordan Gee scored on a 4-yard run for the Emery touchdown. Gatlin Huntington kicked both extra points in the game.
Emery had 329 yards of offense in the game versus 325 yards for Wasatch. Jake Salazar ran the ball 22 times for Wasatch and picked up 96 yards. Mike Jones ran the ball 22 times for Emery and picked up 120 yards. Ryne Jones ran the ball 13 times for Emery and picked up 85 yards.
Emery lost three fumbles in the game and threw two pass interceptions. Emery had a couple of untimely penalties that stalled drives but Emery gave Wasatch all they wanted. For the most part, Emery controlled the game but mistakes allowed Wasatch to win.
After the game, Coach Jim Jones talked to his players, "I want to congratulate you guys, we have come a long way this year. That was a tough loss. We have a football program started again; we are headed in the right direction. We have a bunch of guys that care and have worked hard all season. The seniors on this team have provided good leadership."
Jones then talked about the future, "We now need to take the next step. We had a good year and we have lots of guys coming back. We need to work hard during the off-season and come back ready to play. We had a darn good year."
Although the players and the coaches were not ready for the season to be over, they can take satisfaction with knowing that games were fun to watch and that Emery finished with a winning record for the first time since 1999.