By John Hacker
Globe Staff Writer
COMMERCE, Okla. - The Ketchum Warrior football team made Friday night's game with Commerce interesting in the fourth quarter, but by then the game was out of reach as the Tigers won 54-14.
The Warriors scored their two touchdowns in different ways, one on a grinding 15-play, 68-yard drive that took 9:55 and one on a 96-yard pass play on a third-and-15.
"We knew going into this game that we were out-manned," said Ketchum coach Bill Kelly. "Our kids could have quit at halftime, I've had teams in this situation that came out of the locker room slumped over and hanging their heads, but these kids didn't quit and I'm proud of them."
Commerce rolled up 600 yards of offense against a Ketchum team with only three seniors and six juniors on a 23-player roster.
Tiger running back Tyler Williams led all rushers with 12 carries for 161 yards while fullback Logan Cawyer carried the ball two times, one for 56 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter and one for 24 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter.
"Our offensive line took control early and showed great skill, but we've still got to work to get better as the playoffs approach," said Commerce coach Rick Trimble. "We're looking at the big picture and that's to try to get better for the playoffs.
"Ketchum is down a little bit now and we've been there before, so I sort of feel bad for them, but these things run in cycles and they'll be back."
It took Commerce less than a minute to get on the board.
Williams took ball on the very first play and ran for 27 yards to the Ketchum 47, then Tiger quarterback Klint Reading hit receiver Kade Witten with a 47-yard touchdown pass 31 seconds into the game. Cawyer's extra point made it 7-0.
After forcing Ketchum to punt, Commerce drove 87 yards in three plays, capped off by Cawyer's first touchdown run. Cawyer's second kick put the Tigers up 14-0 with 8:34 left in the first quarter.
Ketchum was forced to punt again and the Tiger offense took four plays to drive 51 yards and score on Reading's 24-yard touchdown scamper. Cawyer hit the extra point and put Commerce up 21-0 with 5:16 left in the first quarter.
After another Ketchum punt, Commerce took three plays to drive 57 yards, capped by Reading's 47-yard touchdown pass to Damyon Dooley. Cawyer missed the kick and Commerce was up 27-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Reading was perfect as a passer for the game, completing eight of eight attempts for 161 yards and three touchdowns.
Ketchum punted on its next drive, but the Warrior defense stiffened, forcing Commerce to punt for the first time.
The Warriors seemed inspired by that stand and started a drive that took them from their own 16 to the Tigers' 32. Warrior sophomore quarterback Dakota Evans completed three passes for 44 yards, but Evans' fourth pass was intercepted by Reading.
The Tigers then took the ball 61 yards in five plays to score on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Reading to Cawyer. Cawyer missed the kick and Commerce was up 33-0 with 5:32 left before the half.
Warrior sophomore Michael Black tore the ball out of Williams' hands to give Ketchum the ball near midfield, but two plays later, Ketchum's Evans fumbled the snap and Commerce's Tim Osborn recovered.
Commerce then drove 59 yards in four plays to score on a 37-yard touchdown run by fullback James Sullivan. Cawyer hit the kick and the Tigers went to the locker room up 40-0.
By John Hacker