Malakoff tops Commerce, faces Jefferson in Area round
TERRELL–The Malakoff Tigers picked up their second straight Bi-district championship as they handled the Commerce Tigers Nov. 15 at Terrell Memorial Stadium.
This is Malakoff’s fourth Bi-district title in their last five seasons and their 10th in school history.
Malakoff senior running back Andreas Garrett got the scoring started early as he picked up a 16-yard touchdown reception to begin the game, giving Malakoff an early 7-0 lead.
With a long distance between them and the end zone, Commerce kicker Ruben Casteneda delivered a long 35-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 5:59 remaining in the first quarter.
Keevie Rose responded three minutes later for Malakoff on a three-yard touchdown run to increase their lead to 14-3.
The Malakoff defense helped pave the way for more offense as Dedric Davis knocked the ball loose in Commerce territory, leading to a fumble recovery by Dylan Stearman.
Malakoff quarterback Darion Peace bowled his way over a Commerce defender as he ran the ball in from nine yards out for the touchdown to give Malakoff a 21-3 lead with 3:07 left in the first quarter.
The Malakoff defense went to work again as Colby Rush picked up a Commerce fumble, returning it 31 yards for a touchdown, increasing the lead to 28-3 at the end of the first quarter for Malakoff.
Peace connected with Malakoff junior wide receiver Riggin Smith on a 12-yard touchdown pass as Malakoff took a 35-3 lead into halftime.
Peace showed off his arm again to begin the third quarter as he completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to Garrett as Malakoff increased their lead to 42-3 in the first minute of the second half.
Malakoff added one final touchdown on an 11-yard run by Rose as Malakoff sailed to a Bi-district title over Commerce.
Peace was perfect on the night for Malakoff as he went 9/9 for 125 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Peace also added four carries for 20 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Rose had six carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns while Duce Hart added 10 carries for 72 yards for Malakoff.
Davis led the way with five carries and 102 yards against Commerce.
Garrett added five catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns in the game for Malakoff.
Malakoff (10-1) will take on Jefferson (9-2) in a rematch of last year’s Regional quarterfinal matchup. Malakoff won 31-21 in 2018 on their way to a Regional title and State championship appearance. The two will take the field Thursday, Nov. 21 at Murphy Stadium in Gladewater with a 7 p.m. kickoff.