COMMERCE — Losing senior quarterback Sam Wells to a shoulder injury, the Commerce Tigers installed a new run-oriented offense in three days to face the Sunnyvale Raiders Friday, but were unable to pull out the win, losing 31-21.
Normally running a spread offense, junior quarterback Jaystin Wilson went under center to direct the I-formation, but it was Sunnyvale that started the scoring late in the first quarter with a field goal after an eight-play, 55-yard drive to take a 3-0 lead.
Commerce took the lead on a 46-yard scoring run from junior Tavoris Anderson to make it 7-3 Commerce after the extra point.
Sunnyvale answered with a five-play, 73 yard drive capped by a 26-yard touchdown strike from senior Ryan Cottingame to senior receiver Josh Quinn.
Commerce was then struck with shaky hands, fumbling three times and losing two in the waning minutes of the half, allowing the Raiders to notch 14 more points on turnovers with two 1-yard touchdown runs by junior back Abdul Khalaf. The score at the half was 24-7, Sunnyvale.
With the game potentially out of reach, the Commerce defense made a valiant effort to allow the Tigers to come back, with a fumble recovery by senior Bailey Weaver and an interception by senior Al Jackson. This allowed the Tiger offense to score on a 6-yard Bran Kelley run to bring the Tigers to within 10 points of Sunnyvale heading into the fourth quarter.