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Spartan football season ends in Manti

Spartan tackle Slayde Childs brings down the Manti ball carrier near the goal line.
Marco Mota carries the ball for Emery. He was the leading rusher on the team this season.
Spartan offense gets ready to run a play.

By Gary Arrington

The 2013 high school football season came to a close on Nov. 1 for the Emery High Spartans with a quarterfinal defeat in Manti to the Manti High Templars. The Spartans closed out an injury plagued season with a 35-14 loss to the 3-A South first place team. Emery got to the red zone throughout the game but was able to actually score only twice against the bigger Templars.

In the other three quarterfinal games the home team held in each game as Judge Memorial defeated North Sanpete 35-0, Morgan defeated Richfield 32-13 and Juab edged Grantsville 28-21. Judge beat Juab this past Friday at SUU while Manti beat Morgan and Manti and Judge will meet for the state championship at Weber State on Saturday.

Although team totals were not kept, Emery had to be close to leading 3-A football in rushing yardage for the season. Senior running back Marco Mota played in only six regular season games but finished as the fourth leading rusher in the 3-A division while senior Ryan Cox played in only eight games and finished as the ninth leading rusher.

Cox had a 99 yard average per game after finishing the season with 790 yards to place fifth in average. Cox broke a shoulder early on in the Judge game. Mota, also playing with a bad shoulder, finished the season with 1,131 yards for a per game average of 188 yards, second best in the state. Mota averaged 9.5 yards per attempt to lead 3-A ball and scored 13 touchdowns to finish fifth in scoring.

In the Spartans first series, the drive ended at the Manti 19-yard line as the Spartan offense sputtered after marching downfield from their 33-yard line. Although Emery punted on their next drive, a long run by Mota was cut in half by off-setting penalties. Mota was credited with 34 yards but the play was blown dead at the Manti 15-yard line.

Emery's next drive stalled at the Manti 11-yard line as a dropped pass kept the Spartans out of the end zone. Another Emery scoring attempt was negated when an official blew his whistle and declared an Emery runner out of bounds. Gavin McDermott caught a Tai Justice pass and scooted down the left side line to the end zone only to have the play brought back.

The Spartan defense, after giving up over 200 yards in the first half, held the Templars to 64 yards of offense in the second half. The defense was led by leading tackler Slayde Childs with 7 tackles and Austin Allred and Bailey Faimalo with six tackles each.

Faimalo played his first game of the season after being cleared to play following a basketball injury in California over the summer.

Emery's two touchdowns were scored in the second half of play. Matt Mecham, the leading rusher in the game with 90 yards, scored on a three-yard run for the first score and Mota scored on a two-yard run for the second.

A Justice to McDermott pass play accounted for the points after.

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