Before the game, Commerce Coach Steve Savage called Lincolnton's Buddy Bufford Field "the greatest place to play" with "the best atmosphere in the state." Well, the folks wearing red Friday night could not agree more, as the Red Devils defeated Savage's Tigers 14-7.
The Devils dominated Commerce in the first half, taking a 14-0 halftime advantage and leading in total yards 241-84. But Devil mistakes and the running of Commerce QB/HB Dennis Wilder kept the Lincoln Faithful's hearts wedged in their throats until the last minute of the game. WIlder, playing QB most of the game in place of injured Josh Haynes, rushed 38 times for 140 yards. Haynes came in during the fourth quarter and split time with Wilder at QB.
The Red Devils, ranked #1 in Georgia's Class A, had opportunities to slam the cage door on the visiting Tigers, but stopped themselves with fumbles or came up just short on 4th-down conversion attempts.
The Devil win ends a four-game losing streak to the Tigers. Three of those four were won by Commerce on fourth-quarter comebacks. During the fourth-quarter Friday night, those comebacks must have been in the mind of many in attendance, but no one on the Devil sidelines were breathing a word about it.