Bailey Faimalo carries the ball for Emery.
After three weeks of practice, it was finally time to play high school football for real, it was game time. The Emery High Spartan team traveled to Richfield last Friday night and defeated the hometown Wildcats 36-32.
Emery scored the first touchdown of the game and then scored the final touchdown of the game as they prevailed over the hometown team in what turned out to be a really good football game.
Emery never punted in this game since their drives ended either with a touchdown or with a fumble. Emery had four of these in the middle part of the game that probably helped in keeping the final score close.
Emery received the opening kickoff and returned the kick to their 48-yard line. Jared Shakespaere culminated the 10-play drive with a 25-yard run and the first Spartan touchdown of the season. Cory Cox kicked the extra point and Emery led 7-0.
After giving up a touchdown to Richfield on their first drive of the game, Emery's David Dyer blocked the extra point kick attempt and Emery led 7-6. Emery, on their next possession, scored again as Dyer scored on a 23-yard run. Cox again kicked the extra point and Emery led 14-6.
Richfield scores each time they have the ball while Emery ends drives with fumbles. Richfield scored, went for two and came up empty, and trailed 14-12. After an Emery fumble in the second quarter, Richfield scored again and again missed the extra point. The Wildcats now led 18-14.
In the second half, Richfield received the kickoff and scored both a touchdown and an extra point and led 25-14. It was at this point that the nature of the game changed. Emery seemed to find the right motivation and from this point on, the Spartans took charge.
Emery responded on their next drive with a 75-yard march that ended with fullback Tanner Lake scoring on a four yard run. Emery went for two points after the touchdown and came up short to trail 25-20.
Emery's defense does their job on the next Wildcat offensive series and holds them to no first downs. On the punt attempt, the snap sails over the punter's head into the end zone where the punter hits the ball out of the end zone for a safety. Emery now trails 25-22 early in the fourth quarter.
With Richfield getting a penalty on hitting the ball out of bounds, Richfield kicked off from their own 10-yard line. The Wildcat kicker gets off less than an ideal kick that was caught by Emery's Kaden Feichko and returned to the Richfield 31-yard line. Emery's Marco Mota scored on the first play and after the Cox kick was again good, Emery led 29-25.
Richfield regained the lead on the next series as they put together a good drive. With the extra point, Richfield led 32-29.
Mota returned the Wildcat kickoff to the Emery 48-yard line. Dyer picks up a first down for Emery to get the ball to the Wildcat 42-yard line. On a pass attempt, Emery's Spencer Labrum is attempting a pass when what could have been a sack turns into a Richfield penalty for grabbing the facemask.
After a great reception by Bailey Faimalo kept the drive alive, Emery continued marching down the field and scored again on a Mota run, this one from six yards out. With the Cox kick again good, Emery led 36-32.
Richfield now had one last try to win the game. Starting the drive at the 35-yard line, Richfield receives an offsides penalty on their first play. Two plays later, safety Dyer intercepted the Wildcat pass and returned it to the Richfield 30-yard line.
Emery now had to run out the clock and burn through the final two Richfield timeouts. On fourth down for Emery and with just five seconds left on the clock, quarterback Labrum ran backwards to run out the clock and Emery was victorious.
Labrum finished the night completing eight passes in nine attempts for 119 yards. Faimalo caught three passes for 35 yards, Dyer caught two passes for 46 yards and Tanner Lake caught three passes for 39 yards.
Dyer was the leading rusher in the game with 73 yards in 12 attempts. Dyer scored a touchdown. Shakespaere ran the ball nine times for 60 yards and a touchdown. Mota ran the ball seven times for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Lake ran the ball five times for 21 yards with a touchdown and Faimalo had a single run for 24 yards on a reverse.
Dyer completed the night by leading the team in tackles with 12 including five unassisted ones. Faimalo had nine tackles, Slayde Childs had eight tackles and Taylor Weihing and Tyler Pulli each had seven tackles.
The Spartans will now work on correcting their mistakes from the game in this week's practices while preparing to host Grand High School this Friday night. Grand defeated Carbon last week 40-0.