The Commerce Tigers grabbed their first district win of the season, triumphing over the cross-county Lone Oak Buffaloes 40-12 in District 5-3A1 action Friday night at Commerce’s Memorial Stadium.

The victory broke a three-game losing streak to the Buffaloes.

The Tigers got the scoring started with a 62-yard touchdown catch by Conner Smith from J’Den Wilson, with Smith somehow staying upright after being flung aside by a Lone Oak defender and making a heads-up play to keep on running as the whistle never blew. 

This lead would hold for the rest of the game as Commerce led from there on out.

The Buffaloes had a hard time on offense, especially with four-year starting quarterback Quaid Williams out for the second week in a row due to injury. Sophomore Jacob Jackson tried his best to lead the attack, but was under pressure by the Commerce defensive line, being sacked three times in the first half and five total for the game.

In the second quarter Commerce began pouring it on and led 27-6 at halftime.

The scoring slowed down significantly in the third frame. Lone Oak took their first possession and wound off more than half of the game clock before stalling and turning the ball over on downs in the red zone. On their next possession they did the same, getting within the 20-yard line, but failing to convert of fourth down. The quarter ended with no team putting any points on the board.

The Tigers added two touchdowns in the fourth while the Buffaloes scored a touchdown of their own to seal the final 40-12 score.

Penalties were a major factor for both teams, with the game seeing 30 combined flags for 230 yards. Commerce was penalized 14 times for 110 yards while Lone Oak was flagged 16 times for 120 yards.

Jackson struggled through the air, completing just six of 21 passes for 78 yards. That does include a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jack Kizer, but Jackson also tossed up an interception to Commerce’s Wade Nicholson in the first half. He ran for 24 yards on 17 attempts. Freshman Mariano Rincon stole the show for the Buffaloes on offense, rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Kizer caught all six completions from Jackson for 78 yards and a score.

The quarterback-receiver duo of Wilson and Smith was deadly all night for the Tigers. In total, Wilson completed 11 of 14 throws for a career-high 280 yards and four touchdowns. Smith caught seven of those passes for 190 yards and two scores, including a spectacular one-handed grab in stride for an 89-yard score. Brad Caldwell also had 2 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. Xzay Basham led the team in rushing, gaining 75 and scoring once on 10 carries, while also catching one pass for a 16-yard touchdown. Freshman Kendrick Greer came into the game in the fourth quarter and gained 54 yards, as well as scoring a touchdown, on eight rushes.

Commerce Head Coach Cody Farrell was pumped after the win.

“It didn’t always look pretty but we still got the win,” Farrell said. “The kids played great out there tonight.”

He added that players like Smith were huge to the team’s success.

“Conner had a huge night, and he’s a guy that works hard for it,” Farrell said. “He has really stepped up to the task, as have a lot of guys on the team.”

The win brings Commerce to 2-4 overall on the season and 1-1 in district play, while Lone Oak falls to 1-4 and 0-1 in district. The Tigers now have their bye week, while the Buffaloes return home to face Van Alstyne.

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