Emery quarterback Tai Justice gets ready to run a play for the Emery Spartans.
The Emery High Spartan football team continued their region schedule last week as they hosted the Salt Lake City based Judge Memorial Bulldogs to town in the Spartan homecoming game. After an evenly played first half in which the Spartans actually gained more yardage than Judge, the bigger school with more players wore down the home team and captured the win.
Emery led the game at 12-7 before trailing at the half 14-12 and then Judge won the game by the score of 37-12. Emery outgained Judge in the first half 169 yards to 88 yards.
After holding Judge to a missed field goal in their first offensive series, Emery took over at their 20-yard line and marched 51 yards down field only to fumble an exchange. Judge picked up the loose ball and ran the 76 yards into the end zone to score the first points of the night. Running back Ryan Cox was lost for the season on this drive as he suffered a shoulder injury. Cox was the leading rusher for Spartans this season with close to 800 yards. Cox also played linebacker.
Emery responded on the next drive. Emery returned the kickoff to the 39-yard line and then Emery went 61 yards to score. Fullback Matt Mecham scored from 3 yards out after Emery put together a 14 play drive. Marco Mota had the long run in the drive at 16 yards.
Emery then successfully executed an onside kick to get the ball right back. With kicker Tommy Lucas kicking and with Austin Allred gathering the kick in at the required 10 yards, Emery had surprised Judge.
Emery had the ball at the Judge 49-yard line and scored in five plays. Brayden Burke ran the ball 7 yards on the first play of the drive followed by Mecham gaining three yards and a first down. Mota then gained 27 yards and Burke added another yard. Tyler Olsen then scored on an 11-yard pass play as Burke completed a halfback pass.
Judge scored on their next drive to recapture the lead but Burke was injured on this series and never returned to the game.
Burke, besides running the ball, also was another Emery linebacker.
Emery, minus the two linebackers, had no answer in the second half for the Judge team that seemed like they substituted several players on every series and outmanned the depleted host team. Judge scored 23 unanswered points to capture the win.
Mota finished the game with 152 yards on 22 carries to lead the Spartans offensively. Zach West, Allred and Mecham led the team defensively in tackles.
Emery will host Canyon View this week in a non-region contest on Wednesday night in a shortened week. This week is fall break. Game time is 7 p.m.