Emery surges past Carbon 51-13 in rivalry game
In a rivalry game, momentum can sometimes be the biggest key to walking away with a victory.
For the Carbon High football team, the game started with a bang but, it unfortunately ended on a down note.
Carbon broke their seven game scoreless streak by scoring the game's first touchdown but Emery High scored 44 unanswered points to break the game wide open as they won the rivalry game 51-13 on Friday night in Castle Dale.
With the loss, Carbon finished the season 0-10.
Carbon came into the rivalry game facing a giant hurdle to overcome not just with their opponent. Blanc said 18 players were out of the game for various reasons including injury and suspension. Despite that, for much of the first half the Dinos battled and went into the half down by nine points.
"We battled hard and got the early lead but I think as the game went on we started to run out of gas in the second half with a lot of guys playing both sides of the ball and Emery took advantage of that," said CHS head coach Jeff Blanc.
Carbon took advantage of Emery miscues early as they recovered a muffed punt catch by Emery on their first possession. While they were unable to capitalize, the Dinos dodged a bullet when they forced an Emery fumble recovered by Carbon's Jarod Lessar inside the Carbon 10 yard line. Lessar, who started at quarterback for the first time since the season opener against Grand High, engineered a drive down the field highlighted by a long gain on a quarterback draw on third down. A few plays later, Lessar again drove through the middle of the Emery defense for an 11-yard touchdown run that helped give Carbon a 7-0 lead and its first points in a game since Aug. 30 against American Leadership Academy.
"Jarod wasn't supposed to play quarterback for us after his knee injury earlier this season, but he stepped into the spot again and did really well for us against Emery," said Blanc.
Blanc said the team moved back to a spread offense against Emery after spending the majority of the season with a run-based attack. The move paid off early in the first half as Carbon was able to move the ball through the air while opening up the defense for a running back or quarterback draw.
With the Carbon players and fans in jubilation over the moment, that seemed to light a fire under Emery. Emery responded with a 37-yard touchdown run by Marco Mota and a 3-yard run by Matt Mecham to take a 16-7 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Emery wasted no time as they exploded for 28 points in the third quarter highlighted by another Mota 36-yard touchdown. The constant sweeps and draws up the middle with Emery's Wing T offense keep the Carbon defense off balance all through the second half. That allowed for a play action pass from Emery quarterback Tai Justice to Gavin McDermott for a 42-yard touchdown.
Carbon, which moved back to a spread offense after moving away from the run-based attack, ended the Emery scoring run late in the fourth quarter as running back Dallyn Mower reached the end zone on a 4-yard run to make it 44-13.
After Emery added their final touchdown pushing the lead to 51-13, Carbon's last offensive play of the season only added to the difficulties the team has faced all season long. A failed Statue of Liberty fake pass handoff ended with a fumble and the Emery defense recovering the ball.
While the result against their rival and the season as a whole was not the way the Dinos wanted things to play out, Blanc said the team never gave up despite enduring difficulties all season long.
"The kids went out and played hard and they didn't give up," said Blanc. "It takes a lot of courage for them to go out there under difficult circumstances and continue to play each week."
With an 0-10 record in 2013 and a 17-game losing streak dating back to Sept. 7, 2012, the Dinos will have plenty of work to do in the offseason if they want to build the foundation for a program.
Blanc noted the team must work hard in the classroom as well as on the field and in the weight room.
"We'll try to build on some of the good things we had this season and carry that into next season," said Blanc.