COMMERCE - The game was never close, but Springfield (Mo.) Lighthouse Christian made Commerce work for its second win of the season.
The Tigers used a pair of third quarter touchdowns to get some separation, then coasted to a 39-26 victory here Friday night.
"They caught us off-guard a little bit," Commerce head coach Steve Moss said. "Our kids weren't looking past them as much as we didn't get as much film on them as we had hoped. I am sure the fact we beat them soundly last year played into it a little bit, but this is a different year and different bunch."
The Chargers loaded up the box, intent to stop the run - and had some success.
After gaining 419 yards in a 53-0 romp over Oklahoma Union last Friday, Commerce had that total slashed in half by Lighthouse Christian.
"They stacked the box like crazy and took the run away," Moss said. "They got our film and saw where we ran for 400-some yards last week and that's what they concentrated on stopping."
But the Tigers showed they could throw the ball, with quarterback Braden Smith completing 13 of 23 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns.
"Braden threw the ball well," Moss said. "I think he surprised a few people. He moved from tight end, but really worked hard this summer. He went to every passing league we could, went to quarterback camps. I knew he could throw the ball well. He finally got his chance tonight.
The Tigers also netted 25 yards on a receiver reverse pass to Smith from Blake Jameson and added a fullback pass from Ricky Watkins that picked up 37 yards and a TD to Jarod Kirtley.
Brothers Tyler and Parker Crane teamed up on a 29-yard touchdown just before the half. Brandon Staley's conversion run narrowed the gap to 19-14.
Commerce opened up a little breathing room in the third quarter when Smith hit Kirtley with a 1-yard TD striike, then Smith broke loose on a 35-yard touchdown romp. That made it 33-14.
A 1-yard run by Parker Morgan ballooned the Tiger lead to 25 points.
Lighthouse Christian accounted for the final two touchdowns of the night, getting a 16-yard catch from Michael Megelsh and a 3-yard run from Staley in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers finished with 371 yards in total offense, including 282 via the airways, where Tyler Crane completed 18 of 27 passes.
Commerce held a 17-12 edge in first downs and lost one of three fumbles. The Tigers also were flagged for 105 yards on 10 penalties.
Commerce travels to Riverton, Kan., Friday night.