|This Union runner can't get past the Spartan defense.|
The Emery Spartans began their football season on Friday at Spartan Field in Castle Dale, coming away with a 26-14 win over the pesky Union Cougars.
At the start of the game the Spartans kicked off and then held the Cougars and took over on downs. A motion penalty on the Spartans set them back on their first offensive opportunity, but this did not stop them as Garrett Swenson, quarterback connected on a pass to Brandon Hansen which gave the Spartans a first down on the 22-yard-line. Jason Parrish pushed the ball up the middle and brought the Spartans to the 8-yard-line. Another push up the middle brought them to the 3-yard-line and the Spartan offense would not be denied as Parrish rumbled in for the first six points of the game. The snap on the point after attempt went astray and the Spartans had to be content with six.
The Emery kickoff was a bit short and the ball ended up on the Emery 40-yard-line. The next play the Union runner didn't get anywhere as he was stopped at the line of scrimmage. Union managed a first down on the next play but with the next play the Union player fumbled the ball and Jake Vipperman was there to recover the ball for the Spartans. With the ball headed in the Spartan's direction, Isaac Bawden caught a short pass for a 5-yard-gain. Kadin Wilson carried the ball for a first down and the next first down came on a quarterback keeper by Swenson.
The going got tough for the Spartans as the ball was fumbled and Union took possession on Emery's 10 yard line. Mike Truman and Josh Sharp tackled the first Union runner, but the next one got away and moved the ball up the field for a long gain. The first quarter ended with the Spartans 6 and the Cougars 0.
Union runners were kept under control with good tackles by Jake Jensen and Caleb Sitterud. A holding call on Union set them back and they redid the second down. A quarterback keeper went bad and they lost one yard on the play. The next play however was a questionable pass interference call on the Spartan defender and Union was given a first down.
A quarterback keeper gained a few yards. Swenson and Parrish each helped out with some tackles. TJ Saupan and Hansen went for the quarterback and had a big sack. Union had to punt and the Spartans fumbled the punt but recovered the ball. Parrish had a run for a short gain.
Things became really exciting at this point as Bowie Jeffs passed the ball and hit Seth Powell with a long bomb, Powell shed a couple of defenders and went into the end zone to add six to the scoreboard. The point after attempt went astray and the score stood at 12-0 with the Spartans on top.
The Spartans kicked the ball back to Union and their receiver was brought down by Bawden. The Cougars came up with a first down on a run and then lost yardage with a dead ball foul. Emery defenders came up big again with tackles by Parrish and Sharp. The Cougars threw a long bomb and were then rewarded with a pass interference call and a first down. The Spartan wall held the runner and Vipperman came up with a quarterback sack. Two motion penalties set Union back a bit and then a completed pass was shut down with a tackle from Powell. The Cougars were forced to punt again and Swenson returned the ball for the Spartans. A pass for the Spartans was intercepted by the Cougars, but the Spartans were saved by a pass interference call on Union which allowed Emery to retain possession. This possession went no where and Union took the ball back on a fumble by the Spartans.
The Spartans held the Cougars and on third-and-ten, Truman was able to get his hands on a Cougar pass and took it and ran. The Spartans were pressed for time with halftime approaching and they threw a long pass which was intercepted in the end zone by a Union player.
The Spartans began the third quarter by kicking off to Union. Harrison tackled the ball carrier. Union made a large gain with a quarterback keeper for a first down. The next play however Union was tackled for a loss and an incomplete pass brought up third and 12. Union fumbled the next play which was a quarterback keeper, but they retained possession of the ball on the Spartan 41 yard line. Parrish tackled the next guy through the line after he had made an 8-yard gain. A motion penalty on the Cougars brought up second- and-eight. Jared Lujan, the Union quarterback went up the middle for a large gain but on the next play he was sacked by Spartans Truman and Vipperman.
The next play was unique as the Union quarterback was in a large huddle surrounded by Spartans and Cougars, he some how managed to escape from the group but the ball was fumbled in the process. The Spartans recovered the ball and started down field with it. The next play Parrish breaks through and runs for a 20-yard gain. Another short gain for Parrish brought up second and eight. The next carry by Parrish brought him to the 10-yard line for a first down. Swenson gains a quick eight yards on a quarterback keeper and Parrish carries the ball in for the touchdown to bring the score to 18-0 for the Spartans.
The point after attempt falls into place and the kick was up and good by Espino to bring the score to 19-0. Union doesn't get anywhere in their possession and the Spartans came up with another quarterback sack. The third quarter ended with the score sitting at 19-0. Spartans started the third quarter with a small gain by Jensen. The next play was a long bomb to Jeffs which took the Spartans to the 10-yard line. A holding penalty on Emery however moved the ball back and it was 1st and goal on the 16 yard line. A Swenson pass across the middle to Zeke Atwood was complete and Atwood took it to the end zone for the Spartans fourth touchdown of the night. The point after by Espino was again good and the score stood at 26-0.
Union didn't lose heart however and on their next series they were successful in putting six points on the board to trail by 26-6 with 9:04 left in the final quarter. Emery was forced to punt on their next possession. Union began their series with a large gain by the runner and an incomplete pass with a questionable pass interference call on the Spartan defender to give them pretty good field position. Parrish however, gave their quarterback something to think about as he sacked him in the back field. The next play was a Union pass with an Emery interception by Wilson, he had a great runback which was cancelled out by some penalties on the play. It seemed like they marched the ball back 50 yards, but the penalty was apparently assessed from where the interception took place. Emery threw three incomplete passes and they were forced to punt.
Union was again successful in putting some points on the board in their next drive. A catch in the end zone and a successful two point conversion brought the score to Spartans 26 and Union 14.
The Spartans looked good as they began the season with the win over the Cougars. It was impressive how they were able to get in to sack the Union quarterback numerous times. The passing also looked good and the Emery backs had some great runs. The defensive line was able to hold Union yardage to a minimum throughout the game and they were instrumental in attacking Union players to cough up the ball.