Emery Spartans defense lines up against Manti.
Last week was a turning point for this season's Emery High Spartan football team. After a very tough loss for the Spartans the week before at Richfield, it was do or die time for the Spartans in this week's game against the Manti Templars. A win would keep the Spartans play-off picture bright, a loss would darken that picture horribly. The Spartans decided to do and they took the region win over Manti 31-16 in a game where the score was not that close.
At Richfield, Emery lost defensive lineman Brandon McCandless for the season with an arm injury. At game time, leading rusher Taylor Cox was kept out of the game with an illness. For team reasons, two other starters missed the first quarter of play. Despite the above, the Spartans came out and "thoroughly defeated the Templars" as the Manti coach would say after the game.
In the game, Manti would pick up yardage but they never had a serious scoring threat in the game until they scored in the closing seconds. Manti started an offensive series only twice in Emery territory. The Spartan defense shut them down for negative yardage on the first drive and forced a punt. The other drive ended with a long field goal.
The Emery defense ended the game with two interceptions and three recovered fumbles. Kashe Potter thrilled the crowd with an interception at the Emery goal line that was returned down the sideline in front of the Manti bench 98 yards for a touchdown. Nick Stoddard would end the very next Manti drive with another interception.
Manti's first drive of the game ended with a fumble. Linebacker Geren Payne hit the Templar back and Quinn Montgomery recovered the loose ball. Manti's second drive of the night started at their one-foot line thanks to a great punt by Stoddard and ended after one play due to another fumble. McKay West hit the Templar back and Stoddard recovered the loose ball. The last fumble recovered by Emery came in the second half. On an Emery punt, the Templar back could not hold on to the ball and Jesse Winn and Clay Collard were right there to come up with the loose ball.
Linebackers Nathan Mecham and Clay Collard finished the game with eleven tackles each while linebacker Geren Payne finished with ten tackles. Jacob Tuttle and Colton Fasselin each had five tackles on the night.
On offense for Emery, Colton Fasselin is the other halfback for Emery and Fasselin got the bulk of the calls this night. Fasselin ended the game with 114 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Jade Fielder ran the ball 11 times and picked up 58 yards and scored two touchdowns. Fielder also had the only Emery pass reception of the game, good for 13 yards. Nathan Mecham, an offensive lineman, picked up a loose Emery ball and gained three yards on his only carry of the season.
This week sees the Spartans go on the road for a game against the Juab Wasps. The Friday night game will pit Emery against a team that has won six straight games and is 2-0 in region 12 action. Last week, Juab defeated Richfield 20-14 in an overtime game. Juab is tied for the region lead with Delta.