COMMERCE - A pair of tradition rich football teams square off here Saturday night when Commerce hosts Hominy in a second round Class A playoff game.
Both teams look radically different than the ones that battled in the second round last year.
The Tigers eked out a 26-17 victory last year in a game that saw CHS overcome a 10-0 halftime deficit.
Corbin DeWitt's 23-yard TD pass to Chase Fairweather with 13 seconds left lifted the Bucks to a 13-6 victory last Friday at Luther.
With the score tied at 6-6, Hominy drove 90 yards after Luther turned the ball over on downs at the Bucks' 9 with two minutes left. Joseph Jones made a tackle for a 4-yard loss on fourth down.
Justin Hudson then took a short third-down pass and gained 60 yards to set up the winning points.
“We're not a big throwing team, but we kept our composure,” head coach Scott Harmon told The Tulsa World. “We were thinking about a field goal, but we didn't want to have to kick. We wanted to get the ball to our best player, so we threw a fade for Chase.”
Hominy returned only three starters while the Tigers had eight seniors back but greeted a new head coach in Mitchell Crittenden.
“The kids are excited - they are ready for the challenge,” Crittenden said. “They accept it.”
The Tigers advanced with a 34-3 victory over Warner, generating 502 yards in total offense. Jimmy Brock had 177 yards and one touchdown while James Brock chipped in with 127 yards and three scores, including a 47-yard romp in the first quarter.
Brock's scoring run covered 50 yards and was the Tigers first TD of the night.
As a team, Commerce finished with 411 yards rushing and netted an additional 91 yards via the airways.
“Commerce is big and physical,” Harmon said. “We fit similar molds. I am familiar with the coach since he's been on staffs at Bristow and Glenpool. We kinda have an idea what they're going to do and they have an idea what we're going to do, so its going to be the team that comes out and executes, does the best job of eliminating mistakes.
“We didn't do a very good job of that last week and had to come back in the last minute. We need to try to eliminate some mistakes and play good defense, then see what happens.”
This is Harmon's first year as head coach at his alma mater. He led Pawnee to the Class A title in 2004.
His Black Bears beat Commerce 53-18 in Week 3 of the'04 season.
Harmon was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma City Western Heights last year.
Harmon's father, Ron, coached Hominy to the 1973 Class A.
“My dad and Kirk Dobbins started that tradition in the early '70s,” Scott Harmon said. “One of my focus points when I came back to my alma mater was we were going to get back to the old way of doing things, reinstate what we always referred to as ‘Buck Pride' Our kids have bought into that and it's helped a great deal.”
Senior tailback Scott Carroll has been the Bucks' primary offensive weapon, rushing for 1,350 yards and 14 touchdowns despite missing one game.
“He has good speed and is shifty,” Crittenden said. “He runs as hard as anybody we've seen.”
“He's a good hard working kid who leads by example,” Harmon said. “He's not very big but gives us great effort and is very unselfish.”
“We feel we have continually gotten better,” Harmon said. “At the first of the year, we only had three or four kids that had varsity playing time, but we have a good group of seniors who have progressed throughout the year. We feel we're hitting stride at the right time.”