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Hebron can't pull off upset of Commerce

DACULA — It was a game of contrasting offensive styles between the Hebron Christian wide-open spread assault and the Commerce Tigers traditional rushing attack Friday night. For one night at least, the old school prevailed.

Cole Chancey ran for 126 of the Tigers’ 312 rushing yards to lead Commerce (6-3, 4-1 Region 8-A) to a 48-12 victory over Hebron Christian (2-6, 0-5 Region 8-A) in Dacula.

The game was tight in the first half. Trailing 14-0 midway through the second quarter, Hebron quarterback Connor Holliday connected with a wide open Andrew Redman down the middle for a 51-yard gain deep into Commerce territory. The drive eventually stalled when a fourth-down pass was broken up at the 9-yard line, and the Lions went to the locker room trailing by two touchdowns at the half.

“We felt pretty good at halftime. They got the ball first and one of the scores was on a pass, and they obviously don’t pass often,” said Hebron head coach Kevin Shaffer. “We were getting the ball first in the second half. They had given us everything they had as far as running the ball and seemed to do pretty well against it.”

However, the game turned quickly in the third quarter. After forcing a Hebron punt on their first possession, a 58-yard jaunt by Chancey set up a 6-yard TD run by Jamir Walton. On the ensuing kickoff, Commerce recovered a pooch kick at the Hebron 36-yard line. Four plays later Caleb Brooks scored on a 3-yard keeper and suddenly the score was 28-0 with just over three minutes elapsed in the half.

“Games like these are all about momentum,” said Shaffer. “It’s only 14-0 and if we can come back and do something there it’s a totally different game in the second half. Unfortunately they stopped us and then scored. Then they pooched kicked and that’s just about the worst situation you can be in. They score right after half and then get the ball right back again. It was an unfortunately play for us and caught us off guard.”

After Commerce extended the lead to 34-0, Hebron continued to fight. Andrew Redman scored on a 2-yard run and Will Brice snagged a 10-yard TD pass for Hebron in the second half, but eventually the Commerce ground game wore the young Lions down.

“I’m proud of these guys. They fight to the end,” said Shaffer. “Often we’re outnumbered having less than 30 guys dressing and the last several weeks we’ve been facing teams with 50 to 55 guys. But we’ve got a bunch of guys with heart and they go to the very end even when it looks impossible.”

Holliday was 16 of 31 for 198 yards and 1 TD to lead the Lions.

Commerce 7 7 20 14 - 48

Hebron Christian 0 0 6 6 - 12

FIRST QUARTER

Commerce: Cole Chancey 44 run (Nahum Mendoza) 10:45

SECOND QUARTER

Commerce: Grant Mayberry 31 pass from Caleb Brooks (Mendoza kick) 10:14

THIRD QUARTER

Commerce: Jamir Walton 6 run (Mendoza kick) 9:50

Commerce: Brooks 3 run (Mendoza kick) 8:53

Commerce: Chance McClure 1 run (kick failed) 3:55

Hebron: Andrew Redman 2 run (pass failed) 0:55

FOURTH QUARTER

Commerce: J’Varius Wood 2 pass from Brooks (Mendoza kick) 10:08

Hebron: Will Brice 10 pass from Connor Holliday (pass failed) 4:52

Commerce: Jerquavis Colbert 57 run (Mendoza kick) 4:39