Emery Spartans win in overtime against Desert Hills 20-14
"We ran the perfect play for the situation," was the way head coach Jimmy Jones described winning in overtime the non-region football game last Friday night at Desert Hills High School in St. George.
In high school football, in a game that ends tied in score, both teams run a series of plays from the 25-yard line. The game is over when one team leads after each session. In Desert Hill's first, and only possession, Emery caused a fumble that the Spartan's recovered ending the Thunder's series. It was now Emery's turn and on the first play from scrimmage, Colby Snow took the hand-off going to the right, found a hole outside the right tackle and ran the 25-yards into the end zone for the winning score.
The touchdown was Snow's third of the night and each came running to the right side. Colby ran the ball 17 times for 88 yards. Colby's other two touchdowns were on runs of four yards each time.
Emery found themselves down 7-0 at the half despite having been the dominant team on the field in the first half. Just like in the previous two games, Emery was sometimes their own worst enemy. Emery held the Thunder to 16 yards of total offense in the first half but still trailed. Desert Hills scored on an interception return from the Emery 40-yard line.
In Emery's first possession, the Spartans marched from their own 24-yard line to the Thunder 32-yard line before they failed to convert a fourth and one. Emery also threw another interception in that first half plus fumbled the ball away.
Emery's defense was great in that first half. In Desert Hills five possessions, the Thunder picked up four yards, six yards, two yards four yards and 0 yards. Nick Stoddard had a pass interception for Emery and Cameron Hansen recovered a fumble.
In the second half, Emery had the ball four times and scored on two of them. On their second possession, Emery started at midfield and scored in nine plays to tie the game. A pass from Gatlan Huntington to Hansen was the long play of the series at nine yards. Vern Kofford kicked the extra point. The score came with 1:44 left in the third quarter.
Desert Hills came right back and scored on a 46-yard screenplay to reclaim the lead. After each team exchanged punts, Emery started on their own 15-yard line and put together a 13-play drive to score again with 51 seconds left in the game.
Chance Ariotti went up the middle for six yards; Snow went right for eight yards and the first down. Ariotti again up the middle for a yard and Huntington to Hansen for eight yards with a Thunder off sides giving Emery another first down. JT Noyes went left for 19 yards followed by Ariotti up the middle for 12 yards. After Huntington lost two yards, Noyes picked up five yards, Snow picked up nine yards, Ariotti four yards, Noyes three yards and Ariotti two yards before Snow would score. Kofford kicked the extra point to tie the score.
After the game, Coach Jones had more to say, "We are an inexperienced team with execution and turnovers being a battle for us. I thought we played fantastic in the second half. That was a really nice drive to tie the game. We have work to do but we are getting better."
Emery is now at home for the next four weeks. The Spartans host American Leadership Academy this Friday night. The Sept. 19 game will be against Uintah for homecoming.