SARCOXIE, Mo. — A touchdown with 90 seconds remaining helped Sarcoxie, Missouri, squeeze by Commerce 28-21 here Friday, Sept. 18.
The Tigers had taken a 21-20 lead on a 3-yard run by Ethan Cunningham and the PAT kick by Ethan Myers.
Commerce had pinned Sarcoxie at its 5-yard line with the ensuing kickoff, but the Missourians drove 95 yards to get the game winner
Sarcoxie’s game winning points came on a 23-yard pass and the two-point conversion.
“It’s no excuse on our part, but we had only had really one day to prepare and try to get kids ready for triple-option stuff,” said interim head coach Logan Cawyer. “Give credit to Sarcoxie, they came out ready to play and played hard. It was just hard to come back from a deficit (20-0 at the half). We didn’t play very well in the first half. We just weren’t ready to play.
“We came out in the second half, hooked up and got after it.”
The game wasn’t even scheduled until Wednesday afternoon.
Commerce Public Schools had been following Oklahoma State School Board Association/Oklahoma Department of Education guidelines — which had Ottawa County listed as red on its color-coded charts.
But Tuesday night, the Board of Education opted to switch to the Oklahoma State Department of Health guidelines, which had the county in orange.
“I feel I put our coaches and kids in a bad spot, but I tried to find a game anywhere — then they turn out to be a triple-option team. It’s tough to prepare for a triple option team in a week. It’s really tough in a day.”
Moss, who believes he’s asymptomatic since he hasn’t felt “real bad,” watched the game from an isolated area in the end zone at the field from his wife’s car — which has a sunroof.
He missed last Friday’s 40-18 win over Chelsea and is unable to attend practices because of the quarantine.
“I trust Logan completely and the other coaches completely,” Moss said.
While the Tigers originally were scheduled to play Kiefer, Sarcoxie had its game against Pleasant Hope, Missouri, cancelled due to a siege of COVID-19.
“I was proud of our defense to only give up eight points in the second half,” Cawyer said. “There were some positive things there. We were proud of how the defense stepped it up, especially on the short week we had.”
Sarcoxie jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and the Bears went into the half with a 20-0 advantage.
The Tigers made things interesting in the third quarter when Cunningham returned the second-half kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown, then got a 2-yard run from Cunningham.
Myers’ extra-point kick melted the deficit down to 20-14.
Cunningham’s third touchdown of the game and sixth of the season put CHS on top by one.
Cunningham was the offensive workhouse, running the ball 30 times for 146 yards. He now has 307 yards on the season.
Lance Hyatt added 37 yards rushing and completed 3 of 16 passes for 41 yards with an interception.
On the defensive side, Levi Rhinehart logged three tackles and nine assists and Kolby Dean had five tackles and seven assists
“It’s awful being away from your team after a win and even worse after a loss,” Moss said. “It’s weird starting the car and driving off.”
The Tigers start district play Friday, Sept. 25 at home with Pawhuska.
The second-ranked Huskies (2-0) have been idle since a 60-47 slugfest with Tulsa Victory Christian.