Last Friday night Emery High hosted Gunnison High in their first ever football match up and the Spartans defeated the Bulldogs 35-13 in region action in a game that was not as close as the score may sound. It was also Emery's homecoming game.
As this Emery team has done many times this season, their opponent got on the scoreboard first. After Emery received the opening kick-off, the Spartans marched from their 36-yard lined to the Bulldog 21 yard line. On second and 15, after an Emery penalty, Emery threw an interception.
Gunnison ran six plays and scored on a 5-yard pass to take the early lead in the game. Gunnison led after the first quarter by a score of 6-0 after the Spartans were unable to do much with their second possession.
Emery then scored in their next three possessions to lead at the half 21-6. Starting at their 35-yard line, Emery ran 10 plays and scored on a 1-yard run by Cory Cox. Cox ran the ball four times in the drive for four yards, Brett Sorensen ran the ball three times for 12 yards and Marco Mota ran the ball three times 49 yards. After a missed extra point, Emery and Gunnison were tied at 6-6.
The next Spartan series started at the Emery 36-yard line and this time Emery scored in four plays. After an incomplete pass, Jake Bell on a reverse, picked up 15 yards from his wide receiver position. Mota then ran 48 yards to the one yard line and then Mota scored on the next play. After a two point conversion on a pass from Bailey Faimalo to David Dyer, Emery now led 14-6.
Emery started their next series at their 35-yard line, ran seven plays and scored on another Mota one yard run. After an incomplete halfback pass, Cox ran for 30 yards. After a short Mota run, Emery quarterback Spencer Labrum completed a pass to Cox and the play covered 15 yards. A Gunnison penalty put the ball at the 10 yard line where it was now first and goal. Cox ran it once for six yards and Mota ran it twice for the final four yards. Cox's extra point kick was good and Emery led at the half 21-6.
In the second half, Emery scored the first two times they had the ball. In the first series Emery started the drive at their 19-yard line after stopping a Bulldog 45-yard drive. Cox started things off for Emery with a three yard run. Sorensen picked up another three yards and then Cox ran for 10 yards. After Mota picked up five yards, Cox had a 59 yard run and scored. Cox then kicked the extra point and Emery led 28-6.
On Gunnison's next possession, the Bulldogs started at their 34-yard line. After two incomplete passes, the third pass attempt was picked off by Emery cornerback Faimalo and Bailey returned the ball to the Bulldog 13 yard line. On Emery's first run, Dominic Rondinelli scored. Cox's kick was again good and Emery led 35-6.
Emery's next three possessions ended at the Gunnison 25 yard line, the Gunnison four yard line and the Gunnison seven yard line as Emery continued moving the ball well as the Spartans freely substituted players on the field.
Gunnison, with their starters still on the field scored a final time as time ran out against an Emery sophomore-JV team combination to get to the final score of 35-13.
Cox led the emery offense with 13 carries for 145 yards. Mota picked up 111 yards on 12 carries, Rondinelli gained 29 yards on four carries, Nathan Thompson gained 57 yards on eight carries and Sorensen gained 29 yards on six carries. Emery gained 394 yards in the game and held Gunnison to 292 yards, with 166 of those yards coming on the two touchdown drives and 126 yards coming on the other eight drives.
Emery's defense was anchored by the linebackers with Geren Payne leading the way with six tackles.
Emery travels to Kamas this Friday night in a key region match up as the teams fight for playoff positioning as the season enters it's second to last regular season game.