Jackson

Freshman De'Shawn Jackson (#44) snags an interception in the second half against Bonham last Friday.

The Commerce Tigers will make a return to the playoffs after snagging a 53-28 victory over longtime-rival Bonham Friday night in District 5-3A1 play.

Now they return home for senior night against Rains High School, with playoff seeding on the line.

Friday's game was the 65th all-time meeting between Commerce and Bonham. With the victory, the Tigers evened the series at 32-32-1.

Commerce has now made the postseason six out of the 10 seasons during this current decade.

Mason Rodriguez tried to do it all for the Bonham Purple Warriors on Friday. He threw a whopping 34 passes, completing 18 of them for 199 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 84 yards and a score on 13 carries but also lost a fumble. Rodriguez spread the ball out to six different receivers, with his favorite target being Nick Rhinehart, who caught five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Cade Bowser caught four balls for 30 yards, and also had 27 yards and a touchdown on the ground in seven rushing attempts.

Tiger quarterback J'Den Wilson had a solid game, completing nine of 18 passes for 90 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while also picking up 32 rushing yards on just four attempts. Brad Caldwell caught two passes for 59 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score during the game. The running back tandem of Xzay Basham and Dayton Dunbar was nigh-unstoppable. Basham finished with 189 yards and three scores on 13 carries, while Dunbar had 143 yards and two touchdowns on nine rushes. Wade Nicholson intercepted a pass on defense for the second consecutive week, and freshman De'Shawn Jackson also had a pickoff. Fellow freshman Carlos Aubrey recovered a fumble and blocked a punt during the game for Commerce.

The win put the Tigers at 4-5 overall and 3-2 in district play, while Bonham fell to 1-8 and 0-5 in district.

Now Commerce will return home for the season-ending tilt against Rains. The winner of Friday's game will grab third place in the district.

The Wildcats come into the contest with a record of 5-4 and a district mark on 3-2. Rains is coming off of a 56-12 drubbing of Lone Oak, and feature one of the more potent offenses in District 5-3A1, having scored the second most points behind Pottsboro.

The visiting Wildcats have featured two quarterbacks this season, with both Andrew Balthrop and Luke Sheppard, both juniors, having attempted at least 50 passes this season. Balthrop has amassed 430 passing yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions while Sheppard has 404 yards, five scores and no picks.

Mason Songer has been the workhorse on the ground for Rains, compiling 1,267 yards and 17 touchdowns on 184 carries. He has eclipsed 100 rushing yards in eight of the nine games he has played in. Sheppard is the team's second-leading rusher, with 528 yards and nine scores on 87 rushing attempts.

This will be just the second time this decade that these two teams have met. The Wildcats took last years' season finale 33-21.

The Commerce Tigers will take on the Rains Wildcats on Nov. 8 at Memorial Stadium in Commerce. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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