WILLS POINT — With both teams needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Wills Point Tigers defeated the Commerce Tigers 36-20 on Friday night in District 10-3A play.

Down 14-0, Commerce needed to make a play on defense to stay in the game. Commerce’s defense forced a fumble after a completion from Wills Point quarterback Taelor Brewer to wide receiver Austen Brewer as linebacker Tim Bloodsoe recovered the live ball to give their offense a chance.

Five plays and 27 yards later, quarterback Landon Allen found wide receiver Derek Hines on a 7-yard touchdown pass, cutting into the lead at 14-7.

Late in the second quarter, Commerce’s defense came up with another turnover as defensive back Eli Keith intercepted a Brewer pass.

Commerce capitalized, going 29 yards on nine plays and scoring on a 3-yard run by halfback Kenny Johnson, tying the score 14-14 with 32 seconds remaining in the first half.  The score remained the same through halftime.

Wills Point came out in the second half and forced Commerce to punt. The Tigers then took their opening possession in the half and claimed a 20-14 lead on a 7-yard run by Kenoy Dabney after going 73 yards in 10 plays.

After a couple of punts from each team, Wills Point stretched its lead to 28-14 with 4:05 remaining as Brewer capped off a 55-yard drive on a 14-yard scamper and then fired a two-point conversion pass to Brewer.

Commerce trying to make another comeback, driving down the field on an eight-play, 68-yard drive and scored as quarterback Bobby Draughn found Allen on a 15-yard touchdown reception. Commerce was unable to score on the two-point conversion try, as they were within eight, 28-20.

Commerce tried to recover an onside kick with only 2:35 left on the clock, but Pruitt grabbed the ball for Wills Point.

Wills Point maneuvered down the field and scored again on a 1-yard touchdown run from Brewer as they added another two-point conversion, pushing the Tigers’ lead to 36-20.

Wills Point was able to get an early lead on Commerce with two quick scores. Wills Point opened the game with a drive of 7:27 that went 86 yards on 13 plays, and ended with a 12-yard run from fullback Cody Henderson.

On their second offensive drive, Brewer threw a 40-yard bomb to wide receiver Revio Hickmon.

Dabney led Wills Point in rushing with 94 yards and a touchdown and Brewer led the Tigers through the air with 109 yards passing and an interception, while adding two rushing touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions to help Wills Point to victory on senior night.

Allen who had 51 yards rushing and 106 yards passing in the loss led Commerce’s offense. He passed for a touchdown and caught another from Draughn.

Wills Point improves its record to 3-6 while Commerce falls to 3-6. Both teams are 1-3 in district play this season.