Spartans suffer homecoming loss to Uintah
It was sweet revenge for the Uintah Utes as they spoiled Emery's homecoming football game last Friday night. After Emery did the same to them just a year ago in Vernal, the Utes were overly excited with leaving Castle Dale with the 21-20 overtime win. Emery, on the other hand, felt a little dejected with this one getting away.
This game got off to a rocky start for the Spartans. Uintah blocked the punt attempt after Emery's first offensive series and recovered the ball at the Emery 19-yard line. Uintah would score and take a 7-0 lead. This turned out to be Uintah's only serious threat of the first half.
Emery's Dusty Jensen ended three Ute drives with pass interceptions in the first half but the Spartans could not capitalize on any of them. The score at the half was that same 7-0.
In the second half, Jensen returned the Uintah kick-off 22 yards to the Emery 31-yard line. JT Noyes took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage and ran 62 yards to give Emery first and goal at the Uintah 7-yard line. After Chance Ariotti picked up five yards, Gatlan Huntington finished off the drive with a 2-yard run. The extra point kick was no good and Uintah led 7-6.
Emery played great defense in limiting the Utes to 13 yards in their next two series, as they had to punt each time. Emery was not any better as they also had to punt each time. Huntington got off a great punt after the third Emery series and pinned Uintah at their own 1-yard line. Emery held them on the first two plays bringing up third and 10 at the 1. Uintah picked up the first down on a run up the middle and then went on to pick up three more first downs on third down plays enroute to a 99-yard drive and a touchdown. Uintah now led 14-6.
On the ensuing kick-off, Noyes caught the ball at the Emery 7-yard line and returned it 93 yards for a touchdown. Huntington ran the extra point try in and the score was tied 14-14 with 7:27 left in the fourth quarter.
Both teams were ineffective offensively to close out the game and the game went to overtime. In Emery's second overtime game of the year, Emery got the ball first at the 25-yard line.
A Huntington pass to Tanner Procarione was incomplete but then a pass to Cameron Hansen was complete for 17 yards. Two more passes were incomplete before Huntington hit Hansen for the 8-yard touchdown. The kick was no good and Emery led 20-14.
Uintah now started at the 25-yard line. They picked up three yards, four yards and two yards bringing up fourth and one. They picked up the first down and more on the next run. It was now first and goal at the 6-yard line. Uintah picked up a yard, had an incomplete pass and picked up a yard to bring up 4th and goal at the 4-yard line. On a pitch to the tailback, Uintah ran right and scored, as several Emery defenders could not make the tackle. The score was tied and Uintah then made the extra point attempt and snuck away with the win.
After the game, Coach Jimmy Jones told his players, "We win together, we lose together. That's a tough loss. We had our opportunities. If we want to be as good as we can be then we have to execute better." That about sums it up. This was a good ball game and was entertaining for the fans. Just take away a blocked punt or a long drive or a missed tackle and everyone would have felt better. Emery now hosts Carbon this Friday night.