Although Coach Jimmy Jones knew his football squad was lacking in experience, almost nobody not from the Uintah basin expected the result of last Friday's football opener. Emery lost to the Duchesne Eagles 25-6 in Duchesne.
With only six seniors that start for the Spartans, Emery was no match in this game with Duchesne that had lost only three starters from last season on a team that went deep into the playoffs.
Emery started well. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Spartans picked up 16 yards in that series before punting. Emery caused a Duchesne fumble on their first play from scrimmage and Cyal Christmas recovered at the Duchesne 15 yard line. Three plays later, Dave Justice scored from three yards out to give Emery the lead.
Duchesne was tackled at their 32-yard line on the ensuing kickoff and then marched 68 yards to a score. The touchdown came on a 35-yard pass to their 6'3" wide receiver.
In the next series, Emery started on their 18-yard line and picked up 25 yards before they punted. Dave Acosta had the big play with an 11 yard run.
After an Emery punt, Cole Bunderson intercepted an Eagle pass and returned it to the Duchesne 31-yard line.
Dave Justice picked up three yards on an inside run. On an Emery run to the outside, Emery picked up a holding penalty that cost them 10 yards. A run for no gain and a seven-yard loss on a Ryan Draper run had Emery punting. The punt barely made it to the end zone and Duchesne took over at their 20-yard line.
Emery caused another fumble but the Eagles recovered. The Eagles then marched 80 yards to score on a 17-yard run.
Emery fumbled on their next series and Duchesne recovered at the Spartan 37-yard line. The Duchesne quarterback scored six plays later and the Eagles led 19-6. That turned out to be the halftime score.
In the second half, the Spartans held the Eagles to a single score. That score came on the fourth series for Duchesne after a good Emery punt. The punt was downed at the Eagle seven-yard line and Emery was thought to be in good position to shut down the Eagles and get the ball back in good field position. Unfortunately Duchesne did not comply.
On the very first play the Eagle wingback took the handoff and went around the right end and never looked back as he outran the Emery defense to the end zone. This was their only second half score.
Emery did march 57 yards on one second half series that ended on downs. Dave Acosta also had a second half interception that the Spartans could not capitalize on.
Talking with Coach Jones after the game, he was disappointed in the loss. "This is not the result we wanted, we will get better. The inexperience just got us."
Emery has potential. Justice and Acosta ran the ball well at times. Dempsey Jeffs at quarterback showed poise and has good delivery on passes. Draper and Kade Jones ran good pass routes. With experience, the Spartans will get better. Steve Giles and Mike Jones had some really good tackles on defense.
This week Emery travels to Cedar City to play Canyon View High School on Friday night at 7 p.m.