WASHINGTON — Post season for the Commerce Tigers in Class 2A came to an abrupt halt in Friday’s quarterfinal round Friday following a 63-21 loss to the No. 9 ranked Washington Warriors at Reed Field.
“It was one of those games where we were just outmatched,” Commerce head coach Steve Moss said. “They have a heck of a football team both in talent and sheer numbers.”
With the loss, the Tigers finish 9-4 on the season while the Warriors advance to the semifinals with an 11-2 mark.
Located in a farming community just 15 miles south of Norman and right next to I-35, coach Brad Beller’s Warriors featured 58 players.
Prior to the game, 18 seniors were recognized, including young lady placekicker Aubrey Schmidt.
“They must have some kids coming from Norman or somewhere because they had a ton of kids,” coach Moss said. “They are so well coached, that there wasn’t much drop off from the starters all the way down.
“They had an indoor practice facility at the east end of the field that you never see at the 2A level,” Moss said. “It contained a 60-yard turf field and was just a spectacular sight.”
Totally controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football because of their size and quickness, the Warriors scored on nine consecutive possessions.
Receiving the opening kickoff, Washington needed only four rushing plays to start the scoring barrage.
Senior running back Tyler Stuever tore straight up the middle through a gapping hole to score on a 46-yard run with 10:17 showing on the clock. With braided pig tails, Schmidt kicked the point-after for a 7-0 lead.
Unable to generate a sustained offense, the Tigers relinquished the ball on a fourth-and 2 call at their own 46-yard line.
Once again, the dominance of the Warrior front line created a 46-yard, two-play scoring drive.
Senior running back Colton Mauer reached the edge and dashed 35 yards to pay dirt with 7:47 left in the first quarter. Schmidt’s PAT gave Washington a 14-0 margin.
Although pinned back at their own 29-yard line, the Warriors needed only five plays to build a 21-0 cushion.
Another senior, Logan Clemence took a hand off on an end around and ran 25 yards for the TD. With Schmidt’s extra point at the 2-minute mark, the Warriors carried a 21-0 advantage into the second quarter.
Just 60 seconds into the quarter, Washington completed a 61-yard, five-play drive with a 23-yard run by Tyler Stuever. The point-after by Schmidt produced a 28-0 Warrior lead.
Almost three minutes later, with 8:03 on the clock, the Warriors took advantage of short field position at the Commerce 45-yard line as Clemence scored on a 39-yard run. Schmidt kicked the PAT for a 35-0 Washington advantage.
Washington covered 61 yards in three plays on its next possession before sophomore running back Lance Spaulding bulled his way for a 7-yard TD run. Schmidt’s extra point forged a 42-0 lead with 1:47 until halftime.
Blitzing pressure by the Warrior defense forced Commerce quarterback Hayden Moss to throw an errant pass that was intercepted by cornerback Hunter Nixon and returned 24 yards to the Tiger 3-yard line.
On the next play, Spaulding scored on a 3-yard plunge with 1:13 until intermission. Schmidt tacked on the point-after for a 49-0 Warrior lead.
“They applied pressure the entire first half and we just didn’t have time to throw,” Steve Moss said. “We had receivers open all night and some chances to work the ball down the field, but we just didn’t execute.
“We also wanted to build our running game off that,” coach Moss said. “But, we just couldn’t get it done.”
During the first two quarters, the Warriors amassed 328 yards on 27 carries for an average of 12.1 yards per touch.
In stark contrast, the Commerce ground game accounted for 12 yards on 12 carries.
“We knew coming into the game that (Tyler) Stuever had already gained over 2,700 yards and that it would be tough to stop him,” coach Moss said. “Then Spaulding, a freshman, wasn’t any easier to tackle than Stuever was.
“We told our kids at halftime, ‘look, it is what it is,’” Moss said. “Even though it didn’t look good, we wanted them to realize that they should continue to play with pride and hold their heads high once we got off this field.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Steve Moss said. “They fought to the end and never gave up and played hard in the second half.”
Less than two minutes into the third quarter, the Warriors continued their rampage as Clemence returned a tipped Commerce pass 26 yards for a touchdown. The point-after by Schmidt produced a 56-0 cushion with 10:31 showing on the clock.
Junior running back Marc Turbyfill concluded a 35-yard Washington drive with a 10-yard TD run on the fifth play. Schmidt’s PAT at the 4:01 juncture created a 63-0 shutout for the Warriors.
“We didn’t punt the ball more because I felt like it didn’t matter whether they were 50 yards out or 90, they couldn’t be stopped,” coach Moss said. “We just weren’t able to convert on fourth-and-short situations.”
Commerce quarterback Hayden Moss ignited a 71-yard drive in seven plays to break the Tigers’ scoring drought.
A 36-yard pass play to wide out Trevor Browning ignited the drive before Hayden Moss connected with Lupe Prado for a 27-yard touchdown play. Hayden Moss booted the extra point at the 1:15 juncture for a 63-7 deficit.
During the final 12 minutes, Commerce relied on Hayden Moss to throw touchdown passes of 11 yards to Prado with 6:48 showing on the clock and 12 yards to Hunter Burkybile with 1:20 left in the game.
Hayden Moss completed 15 of 32 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. Chris Ibarra was 1 for 2 for 44 yards with one interception.
Prado caught six passes for 113 yards while Browning made three receptions for 53 yards.
Ibarra led the Tigers ground game with 56 yards on 10 carries while Prado added 33 yards on three attempts.
Washington amassed 379 yards on the ground as 14 different players carried the ball for an average of 27 yards per touch.
Tyler Stuever gained 116 yards on eight carries to lead the Warriors while Clemence contributed 89 yards on five attempts and Mauer earned 46 yards on four carries.
Quarterback Trevor Stuever completed all three of his pass attempts for 48 yards.