COMMERCE — An opponent that has been a thorn in the side of Commerce in the past comes calling Friday night when the Tigers host five-time state champion Hominy in a first-round Class A playoff game.
The Bucks hold a 6-2 lead in a series that dates back to 1960.
The last time the teams met, in 2008, Hominy used a 30-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining to claim a 24-23 come-from-behind win.
“That’s 10 years ago, but it still hurts like it was yesterday,” Commerce head coach Steve Moss said. “Hopefully we can get some redemption from that one. On that last drive, they had a fourth-and-15 that they converted. We were just that close to putting the game away. It didn’t happen.
“I was looking at my boys yesterday and the seniors were in the second grade.”
Moss also has been a part of games in 2004 (a 26-17 win in the second round) and ’01 (a 37-0 quarterfinal setback).
The Bucks have won titles in 2016, 2001, 1983, 1982 and 1973.
They reached the finals in’16 with a 43-15 semifinal win over previously unbeaten Afton at Owasso.
Zaven Collins, now a redshirt freshman linebacker at the University of Tulsa, had 223 yards and four touchdowns.
Hominy native Caleb Christian succeeded Scott Harmon as the Bucks’ head coach.
Commerce (8-2) finished second in District A-6 with a 6-1 record. The lone setback came against third-ranked Rejoice Christian (10-0).
The Tigers started 2018 by losing two of their first three games, won four straight and are now working on a two-game win streak after the 56-38 loss to Rejoice.
“The offense has started coming around,” Moss said.
The Tigers, who blanked Quapaw 40-0 in the regular season finale, are averaging 223 yards rushing and 116.8 yards passing.
Quarterback Hayden Moss has completed 73 passes for 1,053 yards and seven touchdowns.
He’s thrown for a school-record 4,579 yards over four seasons.
He surpassed the old record of 4,071 held by Klint Reading earlier this season.
Five different players have at least 10 catches on the season — Chris Ibarra (19), Ryan Dunbar (16), Oscar Guttierez (12), Danny Salinas (11) and Caden Pickard (10).
“Receivers that were injured early are back and able to run a lot better than they were,” Steve Moss said. “Knock on wood, but this is the most healthy we’ve been in a long, long time going into the playoffs.”
Ibarra has accumulated 1,446 yards on the ground with 18 scores.
Hominy is coming off a 33-30 loss to Tonkawa.
“They have a good quarterback (Blake Hipp) who runs the ball hard,” Steve Moss said. He throws pretty well. His cousin (Mike Hipp) is his best receiver. He has 17 touchdowns on the year.
“He’s a pretty quick kid. We will have to know where he is. I was told the quarterback was their starting fullback as a sophomore two years ago when they won state. He runs the ball like he probably played fullback before.”
The winner faces either Hulbert or Allen next week.
If the Riders come out on top, it would be on the road, but if Allen wins, the game would be played at Commerce.
The OSSAA has announced that veterans will be admitted free to first-round games.
Veterans and one guest will be admitted free by showing their driver’s license.
A veteran ID card or any proof of identification is acceptable.
Admission for all other adults and students will be $7.
No season passes will be allowed.
The game will be streamed on www.wardogsports.com.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.