Posted: Saturday, September 22nd 2012 at 12:52am
Commerce fights off Rabun with late touchdown
COMMERCE -- When things got tough on Friday night, Commerce football simply stayed calm and did what it does best: keep the ball.
Trailing 17-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Tigers allowed just two offensive plays over the 12 minute period and scored two touchdowns during the span -- including the game-winner with 19 seconds remaining to edge Rabun County 18-17 in Commerce.
The Tigers (4-0) matched their best start to a season since 2006 by converting a 16-play, 85-yard drive and a 10-play, 45-yard drive into fourth quarter touchdowns. In between, Commerce pulled off a successful onside kick to retain possession -- which set up Drew Whitfield's four-yard scoring run that pushed the Tigers ahead for good (Whitfield also recovered the onside kick).
Rabun County (2-1) had sprinted to a 17-6 first half lead, as Wildcats quarterback Wes Hoclombe hit on touchdown passes to Devin Horner and Charlie Woerner and placekicker Carlos Diaz split a 22-yard field goal attempt.
But Terrick Ramsey also scored in the second quarter to keep the Tigers within striking distance. Jamal Browner then pulled the Tigers within 17-12 in the fourth quarter, scoring with 3:28 remaining after Commerce took the ball at the start of the period and held it until scoring. An onside kick set up Whitfield's winning touchdown.
Commerce finished with 385 yards, 320 of that rushing -- paced by Ramsey's 113 yards on 16 carries. Chase Ledbetter also led the Tigers defense with eight tackles.
Rabun County put up 290 yards, 162 of it through the air. The Wildcats will look to bounce back next week at Social Circle.
Commerce will play host to George Walton Academy next week.
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