On the heels of having to take a rare road trip to west metro Atlanta to play a non-region game, the Commerce football team is ready to enter into more of a routine.
The Commerce football team's five-game 8-A Public schedule opens this Friday (Oct. 16, 8 p.m.) at home against Greene County. The Tigers, ranked No. 4 in Class A-Public, are coming off a 41-9 win at Mt. Paran Christian last week.
“We are (ready for region play), especially after last week having to travel all the way out to Kennesaw to play a game ... I think everybody is kind of ready to get into a region schedule," Commerce coach Michael Brown said.
While there will be no trips to metro area for region games, the opponents in Commerce’s new region — 8-A Public — aren’t overly familiar. Only one region opponent from the old Region 8-A, Towns County, is a member of 8-A Public with Commerce.
“It will all be brand new to us,” Brown said. “The only opponent that we have on the schedule that we know anything about really is Towns County. It’s going to be interesting, and I think the kids will be excited to play.”
Commerce (4-1) hasn’t played Greene County in 39 years, though the last meeting was rather significant. The Tigers defeated Greene County 28-14 in 1981 to win the Class AA state title.
Greene County, under veteran coach Larry Milligan, is off to an 0-4 start this season. Milligan has an extensive résumé, beginning his head-coaching career in 1990 at Madison County. He was 3-1 against Commerce as the Red Raiders’ coach from 1990-93. Milligan is now in his second stint as Greene County's head coach.
Brown praised Milligan and his staff.
“They’re a young team, but they’re a very well-coached team,” Brown said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for the staff down there and coach Larry Milligan has won a ton of games here in the state of Georgia, and is well thought of everywhere you go. As far as being coached up, they’ll be an extremely well-coached team.”
Brown said Greene County will have speed, athleticism and adequate size.
“So, they’ll present a challenge,” he said.
Greene County will pose a challenge specifically with playmakers at quarterback and receiver, according to Brown. Greene County can operate out of both the Wing-T and the spread.
Greene County, which went 9-3 two years ago, is still looking to find its footing this season, though. The team has been outscored 167-16 in four games. Greene County is coming off an off week while Commerce has won two straight games since a 24-7 loss to Athens Academy on Sept. 18.
“I know they’ve had a tough schedule as well early on, so I look for them to be ready to play,” Brown said. “They’ve had an extra week off to prepare, so I’m looking forward to a tough, hard-fought game.”