MANTI — After a close first quarter, the Manti Templars scored 24 points in the second to run away from the Emery Spartans for a 34-6 victory.
Despite a 28-point win over Emery earlier this year, Manti coach Cole Meacham had his team focused and ready for their quarterfinal rematch with the Spartans.
"I told them this is the game that matters," he said. "When anyone asks who's your toughest opponent, it's Emery."?
That focus became apparent in the second quarter when the Templars scored 24 points to run away from the Spartans.
"We don't really match up that well with Manti," Emery coach Jim Jones said before the game. "We're a young ball club. We've grown over the year, but this will be a good test to see how far we've come."?
Emery's problems started early when their leading rusher, Cory Cox, was helped off the field on his first run of the game, he didn't return to the field until the closing minutes.
Trailing by six points midway through the second quarter, the Spartans made back-to-back defensive stands to keep the Templars out of the end zone. Manti was threatening for the third straight time when two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against Emery on consecutive plays moved Manti to the six where Brady Aste powered it in to open the flood gates.
Manti took advantage of turnovers and special teams play to dominate the field position battle. Their average starting field positiion was their own 57 compared to Emery's average of their own 22. Emery turned the ball over four times, twice on fumbles and twice on interceptions.
Manti's depth at the running back position saw 14 different Templars carry the ball for 230 yards rushing. Brady Aste led the attack with 56 yards, Zane Stevens had 40, Colin Haymond carried for 31, Kyle Larsen rushed for 26, Christian Boorman had 25 and Kenneth Peterson had 20. Aste completed five of 11 passes for 97 yards. Austin Jackson had a pair of receptions for 57 yards.
Emery ran for 137 yards. Dominic Rondinelli was the workhorse with 65 yards rushing and 28 on pass receptions. Spencer Labrum completed four of 13 passes for 51 yards.
Manti advances to play South Summit in the semifinals Sat., Nov. 5.
The Wildcats are on a five game winning streak and haven't lost a game since their 30-12 defeat in Manti on September 23.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company