By Kevin Jefferies
Paris, Texas – The Commerce Tigers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat Friday as they squeaked out a 26-25 win over the 4-A Paris Wildcats. The Commerce defense dominated the first half, racking up 15 points for the Tigers, with and interception return and fumble return for touchdowns and a safety. The Commerce offense added just three points with a field goal, but the score was 18-0 Commerce at the half.
Paris rallied in the second half with four unanswered touchdowns, including an 80 yard return for a touchdown to start the second half, and took a 25 to 18 lead over Commerce with under two minutes left in the game. The fighting Tiger spirit never died, however. With 1:06 left in the game, LaQuinn Blakely caught a 58 touchdown pass from Zach Boles to bring the Tigers within one point of tying the game. Head Coach Bill Draughn wanted to capitalize on the momentum, and called for the two-point conversion. Stephen Patillo hauled in the pass from Boles to put the Tigers up by one with under a minute to play.
Paris was able to move the ball past mid-field, but the Commerce Tigers defense ended the game with an interception to give the Tigers the victory with a final score of 26-25 Commerce.