The Commerce Tigers took it to the defending Class 3A state football champions and emerged with an emphatic 27-21 home victory over the Mineola Yellowjackets in their District 7-3A contest Friday night.
The Tigers held a six-point lead going into what looked to be Mineola’s final chance to score with just over a minute left, but the drive ended with an interception by Matthew Gray to send away the visiting team for good.
The Tigers got the bulk of their offense from Isaiah Askew, whose two 60-plus yard runs helped him end with 237 rushing yards and two scores on 22 carries. Quarterback Casey Shields also ran for 63 yards on nine carries while completing 2 of 3 passes for 21 yards. Jacorian Savage ran for a 6-yard score in addition a blocked punt on special teams.
Kicker Jordy Ramirez was two of three on field goals, hitting tries from 26 and 37 yards while missing a 42-yard try that bounced off of the upright.
The win improves Commerce to 3-6 on the season and 3-2 in district play while Mineola falls to 4-5 and 3-2 in the district.
The win clinches a playoff spot for the Tigers, who are on a three-game winning streak after starting the season 0-6.
The Tigers will travel on the road to face winless Quitman to end the regular season. A win would solidify a third place finish in the district.
Head Coach Cody Farrell said that his team is finally getting the results that they had previously been denied, but to not celebrate too early.
“Our saying is ‘don’t take the cheese,” Farrell said. “The cheese in that mousetrap might look enticing, but we just have to finish strong first.”
The Tigers will face off against Quitman in the season finale. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.