The Commerce Tigers had a good offensive effort Friday night, but it was not enough to beat the Van Alstyne Panthers as the Tigers fell 46-36 in District 5-3A1 action.
The Tigers were ahead 21-14 after one quarter, but allowed the Panthers to score 25 unanswered points while Commerce was shut out in both the sec
Van Alstyne’s quarterback Tymothe Rosenthal had a strong night, completing 12 of 17 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite receiver was Drelin Davis, who caught six balls for 149 yards and scores of 40 and 50 yards. Davis also returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score in the first half. Jake Carroll was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 105 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown before going down with an injury in the second half. Jaden Mahan came into the game in relief and ended up with 53 yards and a score on 10 carries.
Tiger signal-caller J’Den Wilson finished the game having completed nine of 19 throws for 87 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also led the team in rushing, gaining 72 yards on 13 carries. Dayton Dunbar had 69 yards on the ground on 13 rushes, while Xzay Basham had 40 yards and a touchdown on eight runs. Basham also caught four passes for 38 yards. Brad Caldwell had a big night, only running the ball four times for 31 yards but punching in two scores, while also catching a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. Caldwell just missed a 90-yard kickoff return touchdown, as it was called back on a holding penalty. Asthon Seale caught two passes for 29 yards and a fourth-down touchdown.
The loss dropped Commerce to 2-5 on the season and 1-2 in district play, while Van Alstyne improved to 4-4 and 3-1 in the district.
The Tigers return home to face Howe on Friday.
The Howe Bulldogs come into this contest sporting a record of 3-5 overall and a 2-2 district mark. Howe is coming off of a 42-6 victory over Lone Oak.
The Bulldogs haven’t played many close games this year, having won their three contests by an average margin of 33 points, and an average margin of 22.6 points in the team’s five losses.
Freshman quarterback Austin Haley has led the team with 1,478 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 56 percent of his throws. Jalen Thornton has amassed 816 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 105 carries, averaging 7.8 yards per rush.
The Tigers and Bulldogs have squared off three times in the last decade, with Commerce taking the win twice, including a 40-14 victory in a mudbath of a game last season which proved to be the Tigers’ only district victory of the year.
A win on Friday would catapult the Tigers into a playoff spot.
The Commerce Tigers will face off against the Howe Bulldogs at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.