By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
The Commerce Tigers (5-4) got off to a fast start, but were unable to maintain momentum due to a rash of penalties and a strong Farmersville rushing attack as they lost 36-28 on Friday night.
Commerce got the ball first, and junior quarterback Sam Wells connected with senior wide receiver Buck Wilson for a 25-yard pass, but Farmersville quickly got the ball. Senior defensive back Alex Lee intercepted a pass from Wells, and returned it to the Tigers’ 31. Not to be outdone, Commerce junior linebacker Isaiah Martinez blocked the Farmers’ punt and senior wide receiver Daryian Hubbard returned it 50 yards for the touchdown. After a missed extra point attempt, the Tigers led 6-0.
After a strong defensive stand that saw senior defensive lineman Blake Madewell tackle the Farmersville quarterback Cole Anderson twice in the backfield, Wells scored on a 1-yard plunge. After a successful two-point attempt by Hubbard, the Tigers led 14-0.
The Farmers answered right back with a 75-yard kickoff return by junior running back Andrew Simons. Wilson blocked the ensuing PAT, so the score stood at 14-6.
Farmersville pushed the ball down the field on the ground, punctuated by a 23-yard scamper by senior running back J.D. Davis and a successful two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 all. The Tigers took the ball away on Farmersville’s next possession, thanks to a fumble recovery by junior linebacker J.J. Prothro. But a myriad of dead-ball penalties killed the Tigers’ momentum, and they turned the ball over on downs for the second straight possession.
Davis scored again for Farmersville on a 37-yard run as the Farmers continued to find success through their running game. The two-point conversion was good, and Farmersville led 22-14 at the half.
Prothro recovered a fumble on the second half kickoff, and the Tigers began with the ball on the Farmers’ 22 yard line. Senior running back Kalyn Smith capitalized on the turnover with an 8-yard touchdown run, but the two-point attempt was no good as Commerce cut the Farmersville lead to two.
Farmersville forced a Wells fumble on the Tigers’ next possession to get the ball on the Commerce 18. The Farmers added their third touchdown on the ground from one yard out, and led 28-20 after a failed two-point attempt. Commerce pushed into Farmers’ territory quickly when Wilson broke off a 47-yard run, but the Tigers turned the ball over on downs for the fourth time.
Sophomore running back Darren Pennington scored on the ground for the Farmers to push their lead to 36-20. Wells dashed for a first down on fourth-and-8 for the first down, and the Tigers scored for the second time in the second half as Wells bulled his way over Farmersville defenders for a 7-yard touchdown. Wells completed a pass to Wilson for the two points, and Commerce trailed 36-28 with 3:32 left to play.
Farmersville recovered the ensuing onside kick, and ran the clock out with a series of short gains on the ground. Smith finished with 60 yards rushing and one touchdown, Wells finished the game 12-24 passing for 126 yards and one interception. He had two touchdowns on the ground.
Farmersville improved to 5-4 for the season.