Throughout most of the first half against the Lehi Pioneers, it was obvious what winless Emery coach Kevin Reynolds had in mind: Stop the run.
Reynold's game-plan seemed to be working to perfection. Midway through the second quarter, the Spartans' defense held Lehi in check while manufacturing a scoreless tie.
With their offense sputtering and the outcome of the game in question, the Pioneers (3-2, 1-0) took to the air. Enter quarterback Justin Hadfield, who proceeded to shred the Spartan defense through the air while leading his team to a 34-13 Region 8 victory in its homecoming game.
"It wasn't what we had in mind when we game-planned," Lehi coach Joe Hayes said. "But we'll take it. Emery was a very good football team."
All in all, Hadfield was 14-of-19 for 227 yards and three touchdowns, with just one interception. The Pioneer quarterback also scored once from the ground on a 1-yard quarterback keeper.
"Hadfield played great," Hayes said. "They took away the run, so it was up to Justin to come through for us."
Hadfield's aerial show actually started after David Lew intercepted Emery quarterback Bowie Jeffs midway through the second quarter.
"This team feeds off each other," Hadfield said of the interception. On the ensuing drive, Hadfield completed passes of 19 yards and 16 yards before finding tight end Brent Keate in the back of the end zone on a 4-yard touchdown strike.
In the second half, Hadfield put away the Spartans with touchdown passes of 21 yards and 12 yards, respectively.
While Hayes was pleased with Hadfield's performance, he was even happier with his defense. The defense recorded four interceptions on the night and constantly harassed the Spartans (0-4, 0-1).
"I love our defense," Hayes said. "I was extremely pleased with their effort."
With Emery out of the way, Lehi will look to improve on its region success next week at North Sanpete. On the other hand, Emery will try for its first win of the season next week when it hosts non-region opponent Timpanogos.
In spite of their offensive struggles in the first half, things actually got off to a flying start for the Pioneers, literally. Skydivers delivered the game ball to officials. Among other things, pre-game festivities also featured a fireworks display. In commemoration of homecoming, fireworks were lit each time Lehi scored.
CLEARFIELD 41, FREMONT 7: The third-ranked Falcons ruined homecoming for the Silverwolves.
WEBER 15, DAVIS 12:A.J. Lewis returned a fumble 25 yards with only 20 seconds left in the first half to swing momentum the Warriors' direction. They would ride the momentum to the Region 1 win over the Darts.
WEST JORDAN 32, RIVERTON 14: The Jaguars racked up 439 yards without a single passing yard. R.J. Cunningham had 13 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown.
ALTA 42, COPPER HILLS 15:Beau Enslow carried nine times for 117 yards and two scores as the fourth-ranked Hawks beat up the Grizzlies to remain undefeated. Kyle Bowen added 208 yards and two scoring strikes through the air while running for another in the win.
KEARNS 28, GRANGER 14:Koa Webb rushed for 127 yards as Kearns won its homecoming game for the first time in six years.
HUNTER 62, COTTONWOOD 0: Matt Asiata had nine carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, and Tauni Vakapuna had 10 carries for 53 yards and one touchdown as the No. 2 Wolverines crushed the Colts.
SKYLINE 34, TAYLORSVILLE 7: The fifth-ranked Eagles used 11 running backs and rushed for 290 yards in a homecoming win over the Warriors. Matt Bauman led the attack with 104 yards on the ground, while Ian Galanis chipped in with 90 yards in the win.
LOGAN 42, ROY 14:Dallas Larsen rushed for three touchdowns and 206 yards to lead the Grizzlies past the Royals. Logan has won three-straight games since starting the year 0-2.
BONNEVILLE 23, MOUNTAIN CREST 7: Bonneville's Trevor Ward nailed field goals from 22, 29, and 14 yards to seal the win over Mountain Crest in a Region 4 matchup.
BOUNTIFUL 40, WEST 10:Dave Carroll kicked four field goals to lift No. 1 Bountiful to a big win over Region 5 foe West. Jace Wood had seven tackles in only two quarters of play for the Braves.
OLYMPUS 37, CYPRUS 21:Max Moala rushed for two touchdowns for the Titans as they beat the Pirates to move to 2-0 in the region.
MURRAY 47, WOODS CROSS 36: Murray overpowered Woods Cross with the dual running threat of Dean Takai and Chaz Washington, who rushed for 301 and 154 yards respectively. Zach Ishino nabbed two interceptions for the Spartans in the win.
AMERICAN FORK 47, PAYSON 12:Steve Wall returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for the Lions before the Cavemen reeled off 47 consecutive points and improve their record to 4-1. James Moore passed for three touchdowns in the win.
TIMPVIEW 37, SPRINGVILLE 7: The T-Birds used big plays, with runs of 54, 45 and 61 yards, and a 72-yard scoring pass, to defeat the Red Devils.
SPANISH FORK 35, PROVO 0:Aaron Davies ran for three touchdowns and Gavin Gardner threw for 245 yards and two scores as the Dons beat up the Bulldogs in the Region 6 opener for both squads.
OREM 7, TIMPANOGOS 3: Quarterback Billy Strong ran for a 32-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and that's all the Tigers needed to defeat the Timberwolves. Cory Bowter kicked a 17-yard field goal in the loss.
LONE PEAK 28, PLEASANT GROVE 0: The Knights capitalized on four Viking turnovers and used a big second quarter to defeat the Pleasant Grove. Michael Jensen passed for 113 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
DELTA 42, NORTH SANPETE 21:Cory Jensen rumbled for four touchdowns, including a 65-yard punt return, as the fourth-ranked Rabbits ripped the Hawks to open the region season. Jensen finished with 111 yards, while Bennie Bryan added 153 yards and two touchdowns.
SNOW CANYON 21, CEDAR 14: Snow Canyon overcame an early deficit to put away Cedar in a Region 9 matchup.
HURRICANE 14, DIXIE 6: Hurricane won a defensive battle with Dixie. The Tigers capitalized on a two defensive scores to earn the win.
PINE VIEW 28, CANYON VIEW 7:Austin Blake had 212 on only 13 carries. Jesse Adams shored up the defense for the No. 1-ranked Panthers with 11 tackles as they rolled over the Falcons.
PARK CITY 50, UINTAH 0: The Miners used a big second half to beat up the Warriors in the first Region 10 game of the season for both teams.
JUDGE 17, WASATCH 14:Samui Tuifua racked up 134 yards rushing and 82 yards receiving while scoring two touchdowns to lead Judge to a narrow victory over Wasatch.
UNION 14, GRANITE 13: The Cougars scored in the final three minutes to spoil Granite's upset bid.
BEAR RIVER 42, GRANTSVILLE 0: The Bears limited the Cowboys to 86 total yards and got an outstanding offensive performance from Jason Zundel to get their first region victory of the season. Zundel passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns while running for another touchdown.
OGDEN 35, BEN LOMOND 34: The Tigers eked out a overtime victor over their rival Scots.
SOUTH SUMMIT 35, GRAND 12: South Summit struggled early but finished strong to beat up on an overmatched Grand squad.
JUAN DIEGO 34, GUNNISON 7: Gunnison racked up more than 300 yards of offense but had trouble finding the end zone in a loss to top-ranked Juan Diego.
NORTH SUMMIT 27, JUAB 7:Garrett Richins scored twice, on a 2-yard run and a 30-yard pass interception, as North Summit cruised past Juab. The Braves totaled 299 yards rushing, with Curtis Lowder getting 127 of that on 22 attempts.
MILLARD 29, SOUTH SEVIER 13:Wade Mecham nabbed 45 yards receiving and a touchdown for South Sevier in a loss to second-ranked Millard.
BEAVER 10, NORTH SEVIER 3:Zach Hollingshead rushed for 209 yards and a touchdown while Beaver teammate Luke Beaumont added 103 yards on the ground to lead fifth-ranked Beaver.
KANAB 48, SAN JUAN 20:Evan Orton rushed for 138 yards, his fifth time over the century mark this season, as the Cowboys beat up the Broncos. Brandon Brown scored five touchdowns, four on the ground, and one on a blocked punt to round out the scoring and help Kanab remain undefeated.
MONTICELLO 64, MONUMENT VALLEY 6: Monticello crushed an overmatched Monument Valley team in a Region 1A Central game.
RICH 33, DUCHESNE 7: The Rebels got outstanding performances out of Brandon Enns and Sean Weston in a victory over the Eagles.
ENTERPRISE 28, PAROWAN 6:Cody Probst and Kyle Carter each recorded 16 tackles for a stifling Enterprise defense that limited Parowan to only one score.
LAYTON 21, MOUNTAIN VIEW 14:Wyatt Bubak threw for two touchdowns and Chase Wilson ran for another and added a two-point conversion as the Lancers held off the Bruins. Layton gained 404 yards in total offense.
MANTI 41, RICHFIELD 0:Spencer Harman had seven carries for 92 yards and two rushing touchdowns as the third-ranked Templars defeated the Wildcats in a nonregion contest.
MILFORD 24, WHITE PINE, NEV. 6: Sophomore Taz Pearson rushed for three Milford touchdowns.