The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

November 2, 2012

Commerce rolls to ninth straight win

COMMERCE, Okla. — It’s evident that the Commerce Tigers have confidence in their running game.

If there ever was any doubt in that statement, it was erased on the Tigers’ opening possession. Facing a fourth-and-1 on its own 44-yard line, Tigers coach Steve Moss called running back Parker Morgan’s number. The senior responded with a 41-yard run to keep the chains moving.

Three plays later, Commerce quarterback Blake Jameson scored on a 30-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers an early lead, en route to a 47-0 win against Quapaw on Thursday night at Tiger Field.

“We saw something that we knew would probably work,” Commerce coach Steve Moss said. “We want to start a game quickly. We popped into a fourth down with a couple of mistakes. But we had something we felt confident in hitting, so we went for it and it worked out.”

Class 2A’s ninth-ranked Commerce (9-1) ends its regular season on a nine-game winning streak after falling 28-14 to Mount Vernon in the season opener. The Tigers will host a 2A first-round playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 against either Pawhuska or Caney Valley. The opponent will be determined after tonight’s games.

“It feels great,” Moss said. “We made enough mistakes at things I know we need to fix, but the ultimate goal is to win games, and we’ve done nine in a row so that feels great. But it also feels good to know that we can correct some things and play better than we are.”

Any mistakes on Thursday night were easily masked by an effective running game. The Tigers ran for more than 400 yards as a team. Morgan and junior D.C. Chance combined for 229 yards in the first half. Morgan finished the game 159 yards and two touchdowns, and Chance ended with 123 yards and one touchdown as the duo was removed from the game with a 34-0 lead in the third quarter. Morgan and Chance have each rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season.

“It’s great to have both of those guys,” Moss said. “They run the ball extremely hard. They’re not going to go down when the first guy that hits them. It’s usually going to take a couple of guys to get them down. The rest of our team feeds off that.”

Junior Devon Mathis and freshman Trenton Barr picked up where they left off, scoring on touchdown runs of 37 and 57 yards, respectively.

Quapaw (2-8) could never seem to get its passing attack off the ground. The Wildcats’ first three drives ended with a punt, a turnover on downs and a fumble.

Sophomore quarterback Seth Brumley completed nine short passes in the first half, but Quapaw was unable to turn any of them into big plays or points.

Commerce hopes to use this win as momentum heading into the playoffs.

“The goal is to work hard and win state,” Chance said.

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