Some of the best sports photos are of youngsters just starting out. The looks on the faces of the kids slapping hands with the high-schoolers is epic to say the least. Full photo gallery – click here.
In an important mid-season tilt between the two teams at the top of Region 8-A, Commerce traveled to Athens Christian and in a defensive slugfest the Tigers defeated the Eagles 10-7 to take control of the top spot in the region standings.
Commerce opened the game by fumbling on their second snap at the Tiger 34 with the Eagles claiming the pigskin there.
However, penalties against the host team along with a stout Commerce defense forced a 40 yard field goal try by the Eagle kicker which missed the mark leaving the game still scoreless.
Later in the second quarter, Tiger signal caller Caleb Brooks directed a quick Commerce drive to the AC 39 primarily behind the running of senior halfback Grant Mayberry.
Here, freshman fullback Knox Allen burst up the middle of the Eagle defense through a gaping hole and thundered to pay dirt from 39 yards out for the game’s initial score. Andres Salgado was true on the PAT kick for a 7-0 Tiger lead.
Midway through the second stanza, the Athens Christian coaching staff had punter Hardigree make an attempted run for the first down on a fake punt try but the effort fell short at the AC 42.
This error in strategy set up the Tigers in good field position at the AC 42 yard line.
In ten plays, the Tigers had marched for 32 yards to put themselves in field goal position at the Eagle ten yard line.
The highlight of the short drive was another fake punt run but this time by Tiger kicker J’varius Wood whose ten yard effort on fourth and four from the AC 36 extended the Tiger drive which eventually moved the Tigers down to the AC 10.
Salgado’s booming 27-yard field goal kick on the last play of the first half sent the Commerce team to their dressing quarters with a 10-0 lead at intermission.
Playing great defense for most of the game, Commerce thwarted the majority of the offensive efforts by the Eagles until midway of the fourth period when an AC back broke loose on an end sweep and skirted into the end zone from 35 yards out. With the successful PAT, the Tiger lead had now been cut to 10-7.
Later, following a Tiger punt to the Eagle 37, the Commerce defense stuffed three running efforts by AC for a gain of only two yards to force the third AC punt of the game out to the C16 with just over four minutes left in the game.
Here, the ball control offense of Coach Michael Brown kept the ball for the final 4:20, as the Commerce offensive line and hard running backs methodically moved the pigskin to the AC 23 where the game came to a close with Commerce winning the defensive struggle 10-7 and now putting the Tigers atop the region standings.
Commerce ended the game with 216 yards of total offense compared to 178 by Athens Christian.
The Commerce Tiger fans, players and coaches were celebrating the 50th season at Tiger Field at Ray Lamb Stadium last Friday night in Tigertown. The stadium was first inaugurated in a game victory of 28-0 versus South Habersham High School here in 1965.
At this golden anniversary game, the Tigers entertained the Athens Academy Spartans and came away with a victory in a close encounter between the two schools by a 27-20 score.
Kick returner J’varius Wood electrified the Commerce crowd, as he returned the opening kickoff for 68 yards to the Spartan 22 to start the contest.
Halfback Cole Chancey, behind good line blocking, capped the short Commerce drive with a 2-yard TD run to put the Tigers up 7-0.
On the Tigers next possession, quarterback Caleb Brooks capped a short 40 yard march with another 2-yard scoring effort to mount the Commerce advantage to 14-0 at the end of the first period.
Later, a Spartan punt was downed at the Commerce two yard line.
Here, Brooks directed an 11-play, 98-yard scoring drive climaxed by a Brooks’ touchdown pass of 10 yards to J’varius Wood for a 21-0 Commerce lead in the second stanza.
Midway through the second period, the Athens Academy quarterback cut the Tiger lead to 21-6 with a short TD run which ended up as the halftime score after Brevin Knox blocked the point after touchdown.
The Spartans added a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters to close the Tiger margin to one point at 21-20 after the Spartan kicker missed the extra point.
Later a botched punt snap gave the Spartans great field position at the Tiger 16.
However, Tiger defensive back K. J. Jones intercepted a Spartan pass and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown to mount the Tiger lead to 27-20 following a missed conversion attempt.
The game ended when the Tiger defense made a goal line stand at their one yard line as time expired in this thrilling contest, which enabled the Tigers to come out the victor at 27-20.
Commerce scored on their second drive of the night with a 62 yard march which was culminated by a 27-yard field goal by Andres Salgado for an early 3-0 Commerce lead.
However, Jefferson scored on its next three possessions in the second quarter to take a halftime lead of 21-3.
With one Dragon score in the third period, the Dragons came away with a 28-3 victory at Memorial Stadium in the county seat in the 69th edition of the Commerce vs. Jefferson Rivalry.
In the second game of the season, Commerce defeated Hebron Christian at Ray Lamb Stadium by a score of 36-14.
Hebron took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yards for the opening touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run.
Commerce, behind field general Caleb Brooks, answered that score with one of their own to tie the game at seven when Brooks scampered around left end eventually finding pay dirt on a 50-yard run.
Two series later the Tiger defense stopped the Lion offensive effort forcing a punt deep in Hebron territory. However, the snap sailed over the punter’s outstretched hand back to the ten. He scooped up the bounding ball but was swarmed by Tiger defenders at the eighteen.
Commerce then scored in four plays, as QB Brooks capped the short drive with a 1-yard keeper for the score to give Commerce a quick 14-7 lead in the second quarter and one that the team took into intermission.
Commerce scored twice in the third period. The first came on a 12-yard run by halfback Grant Mayberry, as he burst over left tackle on a determined run for the touchdown.
The second tally was set up by an interception by safetyman J’varius Wood’s interception deep in Tiger turf and a subsequent run of 58 yards around left end by Mayberry to the Lion three.
Brooks scored two plays later on a two-yard run to up the Tiger lead to 29-7.
Hebron Christian scored its second and final touchdown on a 52-yard pass play in the final period to close the Tiger lead to a two touchdown gap.
However, Commerce then closed out the scoring for the night with 24-yard TD run by fullback Will Thomas on a dash over the left side of the offensive line for the final touchdown of the evening to climax an 89 yard drive and secure the second win of the season for the Tigers at 36-14.
On Steve Savage night at Ray Lamb Stadium in Commerce, Ga., the Commerce Tigers of Coach Mike Brown defeated the visiting Banks County team by a score of 28-21.
Commerce scored the first two touchdowns of the game.
The initial score of the season for the Tigers came when linebacker Jesse Underhile intercepted a Leopard pass over the middle and returned it untouched up the center of the field for a 55-yard touchdown gallop to pay dirt. Andres Salgado kicked his first of four consecutive PAT’s on the night for a 7-0 Commerce lead.
In the second quarter, halfback Cole Chancey climaxed a 5-play, 49-yard march with a 9-yard TD run, as he broke at least three tackles on a play up the middle of the BC defense, when he just wouldn’t go down before lunging into the end zone on an amazing effort for the second Tiger score of the night to increase the Tiger lead to 14-0.
Banks County came back to score two second quarter touchdowns behind the running of Travae Cain’s scores on eight and three yard runs to tie the game at the half at 14-14.
The Tigers came out determined in the second half and stopped the initial Leopard drive of the third quarter when the Tiger defense slammed the door shut on the BC drive by stopping a fourth down attempt at the Commerce 33 just inches short of a first down.
Commerce then launched a go-ahead drive of 67 yards in six plays to score. Halfback Grant Mayberry skirted right end and into the end zone from 19 yards out to put the Tigers back up by seven at 21-14 in the third period.
On Banks County’s next possession Cain closed out a scoring drive with a 20-yard run to once more tie the game this time at 21-21.
Chancey broke the deadlock when he burst up the middle of the Leopard defense for a 14-yard TD scamper on the Tiger’s next possession to cap a 66-yard march to give the Tigers another seven point lead at 28-21.
However, Commerce, in the fourth quarter, lost two fumbles deep in Tiger territory at the Commerce 14 and 16 yard lines, but the determined defense of the black and gold played lights out in denying a Banks County score on either of these two Leopard possessions.
The resulting first BC scoring attempt was a field goal try that went awry when a bad snap foiled the field goal try and the eventual pass attempt by the holder.
After the second Tiger fumble and very late in the game, a fourth and five pass attempt by the BC quarterback was batted in the air and subsequently intercepted in the end zone by Tiger defensive back J’varius Wood on a great effort.
The game ended two plays later, with Commerce corralling another victory over the Leopards at 28-21.
Hype video Commerce Tigers versus the Banks County Leopards 2014. Follow us on twitter @commercetigers
Congrats to the Tiger Wrestling Team on winning the 2014 State Wrestling Title in Single A. To win the whole thing at home made it even sweeter. The Tigers had 5 individual champs as well – Chance McClure (220 pounds) , Dalton Flint (106 pounds), Austin Brock (120), Trent Reddish (160) and Greyson Cochran (170) won. Mitchell Patton (113), Jake Tate (145) and Morgan Flint (195) also reached the finals and took second.
Watch as Chance McClure becomes one of very few to win a state wrestling title four times in a row. He dominated in this final match of his high school career. McClure will go down as one of the greatest athletes to ever come from Commerce High School. We wish him the best as he goes to the next level at The University of Virginia.
Good piece in the Athens paper about Commerce hosting the Single A Wrestling Championship tournament.