After a dominating victory over Hebron Christian last Friday, the Commerce Tigers are going to get some much-needed rest.
The Tigers can enjoy their bye week with a win fresh on their minds.
“I can’t tell you how big that win was,” said head coach Marvin Justice. “If we didn’t win it, we were probably out of the playoff picture. In terms of the big picture, it was a huge win. We’d lost four straight and we needed something to boost our confidence, and that definitely will. If we had lost, we would have had to deal with it for two weeks, with the bye week coming up.”
While the standings are subject to change, Commerce moved up from 12th to 10th in the class-A public school power rankings and is still playoff hopeful.
The Hebron win not only boosted the Tigers’ rankings, it also boosted their overall team confidence.
“It felt really good to get a win tonight (Friday),” said quarterback Daniel Streetman. “It has been a while since we won a game. It’s a really good confidence builder going into the next game, and hopefully the playoffs. It’s just good to be back on track.”
Justice says he wants to use the off week to focus on getting the team healthy again – and that means less practice, and a long weekend for the Tiger squad.
“We are beat-up physically and mentally, so hopefully this off week will really help us,” added Justice.
While most of the team has time to recover, a couple of key injuries are still affecting the Tigers.
Drew Whitfield and Chance McClure’s statuses are still questionable, and Justice says he would be “very surprised to see them back for the Pinecrest game.”
“We might be lucky to get them back for the playoffs, but who knows,” he said. “I think if we got either one of them back, it would be a borderline miracle. They both want to get back, but we don’t want to risk their health.”
Commerce (5-4, 1-4) was firing on all cylinders on homecoming night, as the Tigers destroyed Hebron Christian, 42-11.
The Tigers’ first score came on their first drive when Terrick Ramsey broke loose on a 50-yard touchdown run.
On the Tigers’ next possession, Jamir Walton ran in his first of three touchdowns from 78 yards out.
The next Tiger possession, Walton had another scoring run of 29 yards.
Just as the second quarter rolled around, Ramsey rushed for another touchdown, this time from 59 yards out.
On the ensuing possession, Ramsey intercepted the Hebron quarterback, taking back 53 yards for another touchdown.
The Tigers held a huge 35-0 lead only minutes into the second quarter.
Comfortable with their lead, the Commerce coaches sent the JV squad in to finish up the half.
The Lions’ only score came with no time left in the second quarter. The Lion quarterback found a receiver in the end zone for six.
Afterwards, a wacky mishap allowed the Lions to earn a two-point conversion.
The long snapper sent the ball flying over the Hebron kick-holder’s head. The kicker chased the ball almost 20 yards backwards, picked it up, and heaved it into the end zone to find a receiver in the right place at the right time. The half ended with Commerce up 35-8.
Commerce would score once more in the third quarter, when Daniel Streetman found Jamir Walton on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Afterwards, the Tiger JV squad once again took the field, allowing the Lions only a field goal in the second half.
“I was really pleased with the way our team played,” said Justice. “Hebron is kind of a young program. They haven’t been playing football very long. They’ve been struggling this year, so we kind of felt like we should have been able to play well, but you don’t ever really know, but our kids did play very well. Everybody on the team got to play a good bit and they all played hard. It was a good win for the Commerce Tigers.”
Commerce racked up a total of 410 yards of offense and held Hebron to only 55.
Terrick Ramsey had three rushes for 110. Jamir Walton had four carries for 126 yards and three TDs.
The Tigers return to action on Friday, Nov. 9, when they will host Pinecrest Academy on Senior Night.