Big plays hurt Lakeview Academy on Friday night as Region 8-A favorite Commerce had five rushing touchdowns and a passing score to top the Lions 42-7 at Jock Hornor Field in Gainesville.
Lakeview (0-3, 0-2 Region 8-A) got on the board on a 28-yard pass from quarterback Alec Bornhorst to Jerrod Abee with 7:57 remaining in the contest.
Bornhorst finished 14 of 24 passing for 134 yards and the touchdown. Abee had just two catches for 29 yards, the touchdown his longest.
After fumbling the ball on their third play of the game, the Tigers (3-0, 2-0 8-A) scored on a 77-yard run by senior running back Will Thomas.
Thomas (6 carries, 195 yards, three touchdowns) also had scoring runs of 6 and 68 yards. His first two touchdowns had the Tigers up 14-0 in the first quarter.
On the kickoff following Thomas’ 6-yard score, the Lions fumbled the kick and Commerce recovered. Exactly a minute after taking the 14-point lead, senior running back Cole Chancey scored from 8 yards out.
Sophomore Dylan Deaton added a 12-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the second quarter.
Thomas’ 68-yarder capped first-half scoring 7:14 before the end of the second period.
Coming out of the break, the Lions were forced into a three-and-out, and Commerce turned the defensive stand into points.
On the Tigers’ fifth play of the half, quarterback Lane Sorrow found Chancey for a 44-yard touchdown out of the backfield. Sorrow finished the game 4 of 6 passing for 113 yards and the touchdown. He also had 29 yards on the ground.
“They’re a very good football team,” Lakeview coach Matthew Gruhn. “They’re very well-coached and very physical. We knew that going in. They’re one of the best teams in single-A.”
Gruhn said he’s proud of how his team competed, but said the group needs to learn how to finish some things.
Despite the score, Gruhn said his squad is improving.
“We’re getting better each week and our kids are working at getting better each week,” Gruhn said. “That’s a testament to them because the scoreboard isn’t showing it. It’s been what it has been.”
Brannon Browner led the Lions in receiving with nine receptions for 51 yards.
Browner and tight end Carter Reeves (four receptions, 36 yards) were early safety valves for Bornhorst.
Out of the backfield, Carter Ambrose had 10 carries for 34 yards in fighting to get tough yards up the middle for the Lions.
“We had some good individual performances,” Gruhn said. “As a team we just competed better. We preached that throughout the week. We seemed to enjoy it more tonight than we did last week. Hopefully that will bode well for the future.”
The Lions will be off next before traveling to Providence Christian on Sept. 23.