AFTON — Overcoming a second-quarter hiccup, Commerce coasted to a 42-14 win over Afton here Friday, Sept. 21 in the District A-6 opener for both teams.
Leading 21-0, the Tigers made two mistakes that allowed Afton to get back into the game.
However, a pair of Ryan Dunbar touchdowns in the third quarter — including one in the first 90 seconds — turned the tide back CHS’ way.
“We played well in the first quarter and the third quarter, not so good in the second and fourth, but a win is a win,” Commerce head coach Steve Moss said. “We helped them in the second quarter. We made mistakes that you can’t make against good football teams.”
The win evened the Tigers’ record at 2-2 while Afton remains winless in four games.
Cole Mikesell returned a kickoff 93 yards for an Afton score just seconds after Chris Ibarra had pushed his way into the end zone from 3 yards out.
Seven minutes later, the Tigers muffed a punt to set up a 24-yard Brett Fuser-to-Mikesell TD pass that narrowed the score to 28-14.
Commerce turned the tide back its way with
Scored twice in third to blunt their momentum, including a 27-yard touchdown run by Dunbar at 10:30 then added a 5-yard scamper with 3:35 remaining.
“That was good coming out after the half,” Moss said. “The kids settled down and played the way they are capable of. That kinda put the game away in the third quarter, then we just finished it out. I was proud of that.”
“We are still making young team mistakes,” Afton head coach Fred Peery said. “Commerce is pretty decent. The last couple games, we were right there and could have won them, but we keep shooting ourselves in the foot, basically.”
The Tigers rocked Afton for its first touchdown, a 61-yard strike to Dunbar from Hayden Moss.
Moss made it 14-0 with a 5-yard run just under 4 minutes later.
“We’re still learning as we go,” Peery said. “There were some things Commerce did that gave our kids trouble.”
Commerce generated 220 rushing yards and netted another 150 passing as Moss completed 5 of 13 attempts.
Ibarra was the Tigers’ leading ground-gainer with 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Ibarra and Dunbar each had a receiving TD.
Fuser was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 62 yards on 32 carries.
Mikesell added 45 yards on seven attempts.
Fuser completed 9 of 17 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Mikesell caught four passes for 70 yards and a TD.
The Tigers host Colcord while the Eagles travel to Quapaw on Friday, Sept. 28.
Colcord, coached by former Fairland boss Austin Martin, is 4-0 following a 30-6 win against Quapaw.