Derby slams Wichita West, hosts Manhattan next
The Derby Panthers continue their pursuit of back to back titles and advance in the Class 6A playoffs in a 49-13 win over Wichita West.
Returning from injury, Derby Quarterback Grant Adler was back in control of the offense entering the game behind Lem Wash. Wash was able to get the offense going on the first drive of the game, capping off the Panther opener with a touchdown run from up close.
Both Adler and Wash provided a spark for Derby from the QB spot. Adler presented a version of himself that Panther fans were used to seeing, combining a mix of deep passes with precise reads in the run game. Both signal callers were able to find the end zone in the first half of the game through the air and on the ground. Adler delivered a ball to Reid Liston, who made an impressive diving catch at the goal line while Wash stuck with Cavion Walker over the top of Pioneers defenders.
The Pioneers looked to hang with the Panthers early forcing a turnover on the biggest play from scrimmage for West. Lem Wash looked to have outrun all West defenders when J’Qwon Johnson made arguably the best play of the night by running down Wash and forcing the fumble out the back of the end zone, giving the ball back to the Pioneers. West was unable to come away with points on the play but stalled the Panther offense.
Derby’s defense continued the stonewall effort on the season coming away with turnovers on the night, one coming on the way of a fumble recovery from Jack Hileman. Special teams also proved to be another strong suit for Derby, the Panthers were able to come away with a recovery on a kick off that West failed to recover. The Panthers capped off that drive with a Lem Wash rushing touchdown.
West ends the season advancing to the second round of the playoffs while Derby moves on to host Manhattan in a sectional match-up.