Spartans lose heartbreaker in Manti
Both teams came into last weeks region 12 football game with 1-0 region records but it was the Manti Templars that maintained their perfect region record with a hard fought 21-12 victory over the Emery Spartans.
The Spartans scored first in the ball game that was played in chilly, wet, windy conditions as they marched down the field 74 yards and scored on a Derek Tuttle quarterback sneak. This came on the third Spartan series of the game. Taylor Cox had the biggest run of the series with a 16-yard pickup around the left side. With the extra point kick hitting the upright and bouncing back onto the field, Emery led 6-0.
On defense, Emery kept Manti away from the end zone the entire first half with the exception of the final Manti drive of that first half. Manti was able to score on that drive on a 1-yard run to tie the score and with the extra point kick; Manti led 7-6 at the half.
In the second half, both teams had possession three times in what appeared to be an abbreviated half. Unfortunately for Emery, Manti scored on two of their three drives while Emery scored on one of theirs and had another end at the 1-foot line.
Emery received the kick-off of the second half and started at their own 35-yard line after the Templar kick went out of bounds. After Emery picked up a first down on a Tuttle to Procarione pass, Emery was forced to punt on fourth and nine. A bad snap on that punt attempt led to great field position for Manti as the Emery punter was tackled after a 6-yard run. Manti started at their own 48-yard line and scored on a 40-yard quarterback bootleg. With the extra point, Manti led 14-6.
Emery started the next series at their 10-yard line and proceeded to move down the field on a 14-play drive. Despite two penalties assessed against Emery, Emery was able to get to first a goal at the eight-yard line after a Cox reception of a Tuttle pass for 27 yards.
On first down, Cox picks up 5 yards. On second down, fullback Corey Hansen was tackled at the line of scrimmage for no gain. On third down, JT Noyes picks up 2 yards to bring up fourth and goal at the one. On fourth down, Cox takes the handoff and going to his left appears to have a touchdown before the wet field comes into play. As he nears the goal line, he slips on the wet grass and Emery is held scoreless after an 89-yard plus drive.
Emery thought they had Manti in a great spot at the one-yard line but Manti put together an 11-play drive for 99 yards and scored again to take a 21-6 lead. Manti was aided by two penalties assessed against Emery, one on a fourth and nine.
Emery started the next drive at their 20-yard line after the kickoff went into the end zone. After an incomplete pass, Cox picks up 21 yards followed by Procarione catching another pass for 8 yards. Cox picks up 7 more yards on a run to get a first down. After a Cox 1-yard run and an incomplete pass, Tuttle hits Kashe Potter for a 13-yard pick up. On the next play, Tuttle goes to Procarione in the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The try for two is incomplete and Manti leads 21-12. Manti then is able to run out the clock to pick up the win.
Emery picked up 135 yards in the first half while the Templars picked up 138 yards. Emery picked up 191 yards in the second half to Manti's 187 yards. That gave Emery 302 yards of offense to Manti's 301 yards. Emery had 173 yards rushing with Cox picking up 70 yards and Noyes picking up 66 yards to lead the team. Tuttle went 7 for 9 in the second half with those seven receptions going for 129 yards. Manti only completed one pass in the game and that came when the Emery defender slipped on the wet turf.
Emery will now play their last home game of the season this Friday night when the Juab Wasps come to town. This game will be senior night and will start at 7 pm. A pregame tailgate party will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the baseball field with free navajo tacos for the football players and studentbody.