AFTON — Commerce got back on the winning track, beating Afton by 10 points here Friday, Oct. 2, but head coach Steve Moss sure would have liked more.
“We did enough to get the win, but didn't do enough to get the 15 points for the district,” Moss said.
Commerce had the ball at the Eagles’ 1-yard line late but was unable to score.
“Our district could be real close at the end of the year and the 15 points might mean something,” Moss said.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak by the Tigers and offset a 48-14 loss to second-ranked Pawhuska last Friday in the District A-5 opener.
Pawhuska, Oklahoma Union and Quapaw all have maxed out in district points and the Tigers now are at minus-5.
“We needed a win,” Moss said. “We were 1-3 and that’s not good. To be able to get a win at all is a positive. We did not play well. We’ve got a lot of work we’ve got to continue to do. But at the end of the day, a win was good to get.”
The loss was the second straight for the Eagles, who are 1-3 overall and 0-2 in district play.
“I thought our kids played well. I challenged them before the game and I felt like they answered every challenge that I put out there,” Afton head coach Corey Henry said. “I told them after the game, sometimes you can do everything right and overcome bad things that happen throughout the night and still be on the wrong side of the win-loss column.”
The game wasn’t decided until the fourth quarter, when the Tigers’ Trysten Bundy reeled in a 13-yard pass from Lance Hyatt.
The PAT kick failed, leaving CHS with its final 10-point margin of victory with 4:24 remaining.
“Coming out of the half, we felt like we had them right in the position we wanted them — we wanted it to be a fistfight. I felt like we got into one,” Henry said. “Down by four points (18-14), I felt we were in the right position, but we turned the ball over going in. I am proud of the boys the way they played. We’ve just got to keep playing like way we’ve played, keep up with our end of the deal and hope the cards fall in the right direction.”
Commerce broke out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter on an 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Eric Cunningham and a 59-yard return of a blocked punt by Marcus Howard.
The Eagles cut the deficit in half with a 27-yard run by Weston Amos in the second only to have CHS counter with a 24-yard strike from Hyatt to Ty Jauert.
Afton made it a four-point game at the break on a 7-yard TD pass from Amos to Bailey Forgey and the conversion run by Kevin Thomas.
Seth Hailey was the Tigers leading rusher with 80 yards on six carries, followed by Cunningham with 58 yards on 12 tries. Hyatt got his two touchdowns with nine runs totaling 14 yards.
Hyatt completed 10 of 23 passes for three scores.
Cunningham had five receptions for 88 yards, Jauert four for 69 yards and Bundy’s TD came on his only catch of the night.
Amos accounted for 221 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Eagles, running for 120 and one on 28 carries and 101 yards and a TD by completing 8 of 16 passes.
Brandon Coombes contributed 49 yards and Thomas added 36 on nine and 11 carries, respectively.
Forgey caught three passes for 42 yards and a TD while Thomas had two catches for 9 yards.
Herman, Coombes and Thomas each had a reception.
Kolby Dean spearheaded the Commerce defensive effort with nine tackles, four assists and four sacks.
Aiddenn Vanatta had two tackles and 10 assists, followed by Levi Rhinehart, four tackles and five assists, and Hailey three tackles, four assists and two sacks.
Commerce hosts Wyandotte and Afton is at Fairland Friday, Oct. 9.