Tigers 42, Eagles 0
Difference maker: Cody Streetman rushing for 125 yards and three touchdowns separated Commerce from Riverside.
Stat that matters: The Commerce defense held Riverside to 88 total yards of offense and four first downs.
Turning point: Riverside missed a 50-yard field goal with 5:24 left in the second quarter. The miss turned into seven points for Commerce.
Who's next: Commerce is home against Athens Academy.Riverside is on the road against Athens Christian.
On Friday night at Maginnis Field, two teams needed a win to keep pace in Region 8-A. For one team, a quick start quickly fizzled out as Commerce defeated the Riverside Military Academy Eagles 42-0.
Commerce (3-3, 2-0 Region 8-A) was led by a rushing attack that picked up 300 yards on the ground. The defense kept up its end of the game with a shutout, forcing one interception and picking up five sacks.
The 42 points was a season-high for Commerce, eclipsing 41 put up last week against Athens Christian.
“For two straight weeks our kids have executed offensively, defensively and special teams,” Commerce coach Marvin Justice said. “We’ve been doing a good job of preparing and I attribute it to our kids working hard and executing the game plan the last few weeks.”
Riverside sophomore quarterback Collin Pettell passed for 100 yards, including a 43-yard pass to wide receiver Adrian Humphrey. The play was Riverside’s (1-6, 1-2) first play from scrimmage. But the drive ended in a 40-yard missed field goal.
“We came out first play, big play and that was good for us,” Riverside coach Sheldon Ward said. “I felt we were going to end up putting some points on the board the first drive, but faltered. We have to figure out a way to maintain some consistency.”
After this drive, the Tigers defense didn’t allow a play for longer than 14 yards the rest of the game. They held the Riverside offense to 88 yards total offense for the game.
Commerce held a 35-0 lead at halftime. Three of scores came from senior quarterback Cody Streetman, including a 73-yard touchdown run with 3:32 left in the second quarter. That came after a 50-yard missed field goal attempt by Riverside.
Streetman’s other two scores came on runs of 11 and 2 yards. He led all rushers with 125 yards on the ground, and three touchdowns. He also passed for 55 yards.
“I think we came out tonight and executed on both sides of the ball,” Streetman said. “The defense stopped them, and then the offense gets more carries because of the defense. In part, I give the defense most of the credit tonight.”
Commerce junior running back Trey Grier added a touchdown of his own in the first half. Grier scored on an 8-yard run with 9:46 left in the first half.
The Tigers defense sacked Collin Pettell four times in the first half. Sophomore cornerback Jamir Walton intercepted a Pettell pass and returned it 41 yards to the Eagles 3-yard line with 3:06 left in the half.
The next play, Tigers sophomore fullback Chance McClure punched it in for a touchdown.
“They’re a good football team, and we’re not a bad football team,” Ward said. “We’re just young.”
There was only one score in the second half. Sophomore Drew Whitfield scored 2-yard run with 5:39 left in the third quarter.
“We just got to go back to work, do what we gotta do and lets try to get a win out of this, finish the season on a positive note,” Ward said.