Emery Spartans get ready to take on Morgan.
The Emery defense heads for the running back from Morgan to make the stop.
In what turned out to be the most competitive game of the day in 3-A football, Morgan outplayed Emery in the second half to win the game 30-19. Other region 12 scores from last week's first round games were Bear River defeating region 12 first place seed Manti 56-28. Second place seed Delta defeated Judge Memorial 41-7 and fourth place seed Juab lost to Juan Diego 56-0.
Emery scored first in the game after taking advantage of a Morgan fumble and scored on a Derek Tuttle pass to Tanner Procarione. The play covered 26 yards. Brian Clark kicked the extra point and Emery led 7-0.
Morgan responded with a six play 85-yard drive capped off by 51-yard run by their best running back to score. The extra point was no good and Emery led 7-6.
Emery punted on their next series after failing to pick up a first down and Morgan returned the favor by punting on their next series as they also failed to pick up a first down. After another Emery punt, Morgan started their next drive at the Morgan 49-yard line and capped off a six-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run by their star back. The extra point was not good again by the Trojans but Morgan now led 12-7.
After returning the Morgan kick-off to their 26-yard line, Emery put together a 9-play drive to retake the lead. On third and seven, Emery attempted a pass to Taylor Cox but Cox was interfered with to keep the drive alive. Derrick Allred, returning to the fullback position after playing guard all season, ran the ball three straight times picking up a total of 20 yards. After Tuttle was sacked for an 11-yard loss and then Tuttle threw an incomplete pass, Emery had the ball third and 21 at the Morgan 45-yard line. Allred got the ball and scored on a 45-yard run to give the Spartans the lead back at 13-12 as Emery's extra point kick was blocked. That was the score at the half.
Before the game, the consensus was that the team that won the turnover battle would win the ball game and that's the way it turned out. Morgan fumbled numerous times in the game but lost only three of those fumbles. Two were lost in the first half and one in the second half. Emery, after having no turnovers in the first half, had three interceptions in the second half which assisted Morgan in their win.
The second half saw Morgan dominate the game. Morgan scored two touchdowns and kicked a 32-yard field goal in their five series and picked up 204 yards of offense in the second half to finish the game with 380 yards for the game.
Emery had the ball four times and threw those three interceptions and scored one touchdown on the other drive. Emery had 64 yards of offense in the second half and finished the game with 191 yards of offense in the game.
Emery started their scoring drive at their 20-yard line and scored in 10 plays. Allred scored for the second time in the game, this time on a 4-yard run. Emery was assisted in the drive by an offside penalty and a passing interference penalty.
Emery had opportunities in the game. They started a drive at the Morgan 34-yard line in the first half but were unable to score. Emery started a drive in the second half at the Morgan 21-yard line and again the Spartans were unable to score.
An emotional Coach Jones after the game, "This was a good year, it was a fun year. We were in every game that we played including this one. We finished 5-5 for the year but we fought hard even though we were usually smaller that our opponents." Each of the other coaches spoke briefly about the season.
Coach Jones continued. "For next season, we need to get bigger and stronger during the off season. We hope you will learn from this season." Off season weight room work is vital for the success of any football team and Morgan was one of those schools that had spent a lot of time there in the weight room.