COMMERCE — The light finally came on for Commerce in the second half.
The Tigers had minus-5 yards total offense in the first half, but got two touchdowns and 200 yards in the second to claim a 21-8 win over Fairland here Friday, Oct. 11.
“It was 8-7 at halftime and they playing us tough,” Commerce head coach Steve Moss said. “They played us tough last year and I told the kids to remember that.”
Caden Pickard capped off CHS’ first possession of the third quarter with a 7-yard run, giving the Tigers a 13-8 lead.
“That was a relief,” Moss said. “We weren’t moving the ball and it was three-and-out four times in the first half.”
Pickard came back with a 1-yard burst at 8:06 of the fourth to create the final margin.
Defense got the Tigers’ first touchdown when Gage Smith recovered a fumble. Salvador Martinez’ extra point kick made it 7-0 at 7:18 in the first quarter.
Fairland grabbed the lead late in the second quarter thanks to an 8-yard pass from Riley Powell to Trey Martin and the conversion pass to Andrew Barker.
“We played about as well as we probably could,” Fairland head coach Kent Marshall said. “The second half got away from us a little bit. We got some kids dinged up. It was rough. We thought we were going to get one there, but it just kinda turned on us.”
Pickard had a game-high 116 yards on 20 carries with the two TDs.
Eric Cunningham completed two of seven passes for 35 yards, with both going to Lance Hyatt.
“In the second half, they came out, got back in the I and started running the toss and the power straight at us,” Marshall said. “They did a good job of taking what we had left in the gas tank.”
Fairland managed only 78 yards in total offense, rushing for 32 and passing for 46.
“We’re not taking anything away from them. They are a well-coached team and the kids play real hard for Coach Marshall,” Moss said.
Andy Bradbrook was Fairland’s top rusher with 26 yards on 18 tries. Powell had 13 carries for 6 yards.
Nate Turner had two of the Owls’ pass completions for 25 yards. Martin had one, which went for the 8-yard TD.
Kolby Dean was the defensive leader for Commerce with 12 tackles, including five solo stops.
Mateo Moreno logged 11 and Smith was in on nine.
Both CHS and Fairland will play Thursday, Oct. 17, the Tigers traveling to Oklahoma Union and the Owls hosting Afton.