Last Friday night, the Emery High Spartans hosted the Uintah Utes in their final preseason football game. After soundly defeating Richfield the week before, the Emery fans were ready for more of the same as the game got closer and closer to kickoff time.
Emery received the opening kickoff, the kick went out of bounds, and Emery started at their own 35-yard line. Emery looked out of sync on that drive as they gained a yard on the first play, lost two yards on the second play and then lost another yard on the third play. Emery's ensuing punt went for zero yards and Uintah took over in Emery territory. Uintah scored in five plays.
Four minutes into the game Emery was down 7-0 and everyone in attendance was just a little quieter. Then the real Spartan team showed up. Emery scored touchdowns on three of their next four drives while limiting Uintah to only a field goal the rest of the game and the Spartans easily won their second game of the season 30-10.
The Emery defense, although they gave some yardage in the middle of the field, played outstanding after that first Uintah drive. Four different Ute drives ended in interceptions by the Emery defense. Defensive back Bailey Faimalo picked off the first interception with this being Faimalo's second of the season. Linebacker Geren Payne picked the second deep in Emery territory and returned to it to near midfield. Linebacker David Dyer got the third interception as the fourth quarter started and stopped a Ute scoring opportunity.Dyer had about a 30-yard return on his catch. Defensive back Jake Bell picked off the fourth interception on Uintah's last possession and Emery then ran out the clock.
In addition to the interceptions, the Emery defense also came up with two Uintah fumbles. Bell recovered the second fumble after linebacker Jesse Winn caused the fumble. Bell carried the ball for around 50 yards to the Uintah 9-yard line.
After the first series, the Emery offense rolled the rest of the night. Emery scored on a 12-yard run by Dyer after an 80-yard drive on Emery's second series of the evening. Running back Jesse Winn had the biggest run in the series at 23 yards.
Emery put together a 92-yard drive on their next series. This drive culminated with a touchdown by Winn from 2-yards out. Winn had a 65 yard run in the drive to get Emery to the Ute 9-yard line. Cory Cox scored on a run for a 2-point conversion.
Emery went 62 yards on their next drive only to see it end with a fumble at the Uintah 13-yard line. Faimalo then had his interception and returned it to the Uintah 9-yard line. Emery quarterback Spencer Labrum threw a pass to Dyer that he caught between two defenders and Emery scored on their first play and went to the half leading 20-10.
Emery scored twice in the second half while the Emery defense continued shutting out the Utes. Jesse Winn scored again, this time from three yards out and Emery added a field goal on their next series. Cory Cox hit a 20-yard field goal to put Emery up 30-10.
Emery's running game was good all night long. Senior Jesse Winn led the way with 127 yards on 11 carries and Jesse scored twice. Junior fullback Cory Cox ran the ball 11 times for 40 yards. Sophomore back Dominick Rondinelli ran the ball 10 times for 77 yards. Junior receiver David Dyer ran the ball twice for 30 yards and scored a touchdown on the ground. Dyer also caught three passes in the game for 31 yards and scored another touchdown this way. Labrum was two for three in the game in passing for 21 yards. Rondinelli completed one pass to Dyer for 10 yards.
Winn was also the leading tackler in the game with 11 tackles and junior lineman George Sorenson being in on 10 tackles. Brandon McCandless and Brett Sorenson were each in on seven tackles. Jordan Cox and David Dyer were each in on six tackles.
Emery will now travel for the first time this season as they make the trip to Manti to open region play. Manti defeated Delta the first week in a game played at Delta and the Templars lost this past week to Juan Diego, a team that looks like it will compete again for the 3-A title. Manti is the preseason favorite to take the region title.