Derby rolls Newton in season opener
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - With an extra week of preparation, the Derby Panthers wasted no time returning to dominating form in 2021 in a season opening route of Newton, 50-17.
Derby, unable to field an opponent for week one was eager to open a brand-new Panther Stadium after a year of renovations. While the stands and new amenities were a welcome change, the play on the field for the Panthers remained the same.
The opening drive saw the Panthers keep the ball on then ground and score in a handful of plays. Senior Quarterback Mercer Thatcher got the start under center for Derby. On his first play from scrimmage, Thatcher broke a big run to swing the early momentum. Shortly after, he would finish the drive on a run from short yardage. Derby would also throw junior Brock Zerger into the mix, working a two-quarterback system to replace Lem Wash.
Two main constants from a year ago, Dylan Edwards and the Derby offensive line each looked reloaded in their first showing. The line making massive holes for Edwards to craft multiple scores on the ground in the first half, including a 70-yard foot-race he would win easily. The offensive line would also make room for sophomore running back Derek Hubbard to score in the second quarter,
The Panther defense was solid the entire night, only surrendering 17 points to the Railers. Newton would rely heavily on senior running back Kenyon Forest who ran the ball into the teeth of the Panther defense. Newton found a first half score on a running back pass that saw Forest connect with Isaac Klug in the end zone.
Derby advances to 1-0 on the season and will host Bishop Carroll in what is expected to be a tough battle for both sides.
Newton now sits at 0-2 but will host its home opener against Maize.
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