By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer
COMMERCE, Okla. —
The “D.C.” in D.C. Chance is just a nickname shortened from Dillon Chance.
But on Friday night, the initials might as well have stood for destroy and conquer.
The Commerce Tigers junior running back rushed for 253 yards and three touchdowns, caught two balls for 43 yards, made a reception on a 2-point conversion and made a bundle of key tackles in a 48-15 Class 2A first-round playoff win against Pawhuska. The win means Commerce advances to the second round and will host Meeker at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“D.C. is a great football player,” Commerce coach Steve Moss said. “Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. It was a big-time game, and that kid can play football.”
Chance had seven carries of 15 yards or more, including a 70-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead.
However, Chance’s biggest run may have been on the start of a Tigers drive from the 1-yard-line with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Chance broke loose for 24 yards on first down to give Commerce some breathing room. Eleven plays later, quarterback Blake Jameson hit Angel Landeros for a 2-yard touchdown pass to take a 21-7 lead with five seconds remaining in the half.
“It was huge,” Moss said. “We had no timeouts, and the kids executed everything we threw out at them. To be able to do that … they came through at the right time. We would have been going in at 14-7 unless we make something happen. A 99-yard drive with 1:38 left and no timeouts, you can’t feel any better than that.”
Pawhuska (4-6) looked to get back in the game in the second half. The Huskies quickly drove to Commerce’s 12-yard-line. But they moved backwards on a holding penalty, and Chance sacked Pawhuska quarterback Zalin Edwards for a six-yard loss on fourth down.
“He’s huge on both sides of the ball,” Moss said. “He made several good plays in big situations. He’s just got a nose for the football. The kid’s got an MBA in football geometry. He knows where the ball’s going and how to get there.”
Edwards passed for about 200 yards, but the Commerce defense came up with the big play over and over to keep the Huskies out of the end zone.
Commerce (10-1) was also effective in its own passing game. Jameson passed for 96 yards on the night, and tight end Jerrod Kirtley hit Diego Ybarra on a 48-yard trick pass.
“We threw the ball real well tonight when we needed to,” Moss said. “We can get better at that, but I was really pleased with how we threw the ball tonight, especially in the wind.”
Jameson hit Landeros on a second touchdown pass in the second half, and the passing game also set up scoring runs for Chance and Parker Morgan.
“Our line blocked tremendous,” Chance said. “It was great. Holes would open up, I’d go right through them and then juke a couple people.”