By EDDY GIFFORD
The Dade County Wolverine football team made the long trip to Commerce Friday to face the Commerce Tigers in the second round of the state playoffs.
The Tigers came into the game as the second ranked 1A team in Georgia with a 10-1 record and the top seed from Region 8.
The Tigers took the opening kick, and with a strong running game, drove the ball downfield and scored the game’s first points midway through the first quarter, taking the lead 7-0.
On Dade County’s first possession, they managed a couple of first downs before having to punt the Tigers who then started another long drive running the football.
At the end of the first quarter the Tigers held a 7-0 lead over the Wolverines.
Early in the second quarter, Commerce found the end zone again and took a 14-0 lead.
The Wolverine defense kept the Tigers in check the remainder of the first half while Dade moved the ball but could not get into the end zone and the first half ended with the Tigers on top 14-0.
The Wolverines took the opening kick of the second half and two penalties hurt their efforts before an interception at the 23-yard line set up the Tigers.
Dade’s defense would rise to the occasion and force a field goal attempt from the 19-yard line that was no good, so Commerce’s lead remained 14-0.
The Wolverine defense shut out the Tigers in the third quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter, Dade County was very much in the game.
Early in the fourth quarter the Tigers scored again but missed the extra point and their lead was now 20-0.
With 8:34 remaining in the game, the Wolverines scored their first points as quarterback Bryson Shrader threw to Demetrius Walker for a touchdown and the Caroline Tremmier kick was good. The Wolverines now trailed 20-7.
The Tigers then scored two quick touchdowns to take a 34-7 lead before Braylon Sullivan scored on a sweep around the left side. Abigale Tremmier’s kick was good, making it a 34-14 ballgame.
The game ended without another score, ending Dade County’s season. Commerce now moves on to the Elite Eight.
The Tigers had 375 yards total offense, only throwing the ball once for nine yards while the Wolverines had 75 yards rushing and 80-yards passing.
The Wolverines had four turnovers in the game, three interceptions, one fumble, and nine penalties for 95-yards.
Commerce held Landon Williams to just 29-yards and Sullivan to 33-yards.
Carter Christianson led the Wolverines’ defense with nine tackles, three assists; Sullivan seven tackles, three assist; Jax Guinn seven tackles, two assists, one caused fumble, one fumble recovery; Brandon Willerson six tackles, three assists; one caused fumble; Landon Williams, five tackles, three assists; Eli Kimball four tackles, four assists; Levi Raines four tackles, eight assists; Gabriel Yarbrough seven assists.
Congratulations to the Wolverine football team and coaches for an outstanding season and a third straight trip to the state playoffs. Looking forward to next season!