There must be something about that Mustang name that is resonating in the minds of Derby players.
While Salina Central’s program has carried an illustrious history in Kansas high school football, it has had no answers for Derby on either side of the ball over the last three years.
On the heels of a 49-0 shutout on Friday night, coach Brandon Clark’s crew has now blanked the Mustangs in each of those seasons, outscoring their opponent 146-0 over that span. That includes a 63-0 bludgeoning in Derby last fall and a 34-0 rain-shortened affair two years ago.
Senior running back Tre Washington ran for 136 yards and scored four total touchdowns to lead Derby (2-0, 1-0 AVCTL-I).
“We wanted to come out and execute,” Washington said. “We knew if we didn’t turn over the ball, we’d have a pretty good chance of doing what we do.”
Senior quarterback Grant Adler showcased his arm, completing 16-of-20 passes for 318 yards and four scores. The Panthers surpassed 500 total yards for a second-straight game and also held the Mustangs to -6 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Adler found senior wide receivers Jacob Karsak and Cavion Walker for touchdowns on Derby’s first two possessions. Both drives came within the first 3:38 of the game.
Trailing 14-0, Salina Central (0-2, 0-1 AVCTL-I) looked to capitalize on a Derby midfield fumble in the final minutes of the first quarter.
Quarterback Jackson Kavanagh connected with Logan Heigele to put Salina Central on the Derby 3-yard line. Four plays later, the Mustangs found themselves a half-yard short and turned it over on downs.
“We just wanted to keep the shutout alive like last year and keep them out of the end zone,” junior linebacker Luke Stewart said.
Washington scored his first touchdown on the ensuing Derby drive as it marched 99 yards in just five plays to take a 21-0 lead. After a Salina Central punt at the end of the first quarter, Washington again found the end zone to take a 28-0 lead with 11:55 left in the first half.
“In the first game [last week] you had some of those jitters and your body doesn’t always feel quite right,” Washington said. “My body is feeling better and I was running hard through this whole game.”
What was left of Salina Central’s hopes of cutting into the deficit may have been erased on the following drive. Kavanagh was sacked at the Derby 38-yard line, leading to a Panther 35-0 lead shortly after.
Looking to score before halftime, Adler found Washington on a 23-yard screen pass on 4th-and-8. The touchdown came with just three seconds left in the half.
“You take away the run game and we’re going to pass it,” Clark said. “Tre is a big part of our passing game… he is playing with confidence and the biggest difference between the last two years and now is he knows what to do. He’s not thinking and just reacting to situations.”
Derby took a 42-0 lead into halftime, giving it an 83-0 scoring advantage in the first halves of its first two games.
Senior wide receiver Aaron Larson capped Derby’s scoring with a 21-yard touchdown catch with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter.
DRBY: 21 21 7 0— 49
SACL: 0 0 0 0— 0
D: Karsak 34-yard pass from Adler (Simmons kick)… 7-0
D: Walker 64-yard pass from Adler (Simmons kick)… 14-0
D: Washington 35-yard run (Simmons kick)… 21-0
D: Washington 14-yard run (Simmons kick)… 28-0
D: Washington 11-yard run (Simmons kick)… 35-0
D: Washington 23-yard pass from Adler (Simmons kick)… 42-0
D: Larson 21-yard pass from Adler (Simmons kick)… 49-0)
DERBY TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Adler, 16-20-318-4; Wash, 0-1-0-0
Rushing: Washington, 14-136-3; Wash, 6-47; Edwards, 1-14; Adler, 6-4; Bryant, 1-0
Receiving: Karsak, 3-95-1; Walker, 2-78-1; Simms, 4-63; Larson, 3-31-1; Liston, 3-28; Washington, 1-23-1
SALINA CENTRAL TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: J. Kavanagh, 8-16-63-0-0; P. Kavanagh, 6-15-0-0
Rushing: Chard, 7-8; Kolzow, 2-5; Kavanagh, 10-(-5); Kavanagh, 6-(-14)
Receiving: Heigele, 5-38; Chard, 3-18; Jackson, 2-14; Kolzow, 1-2; Stewart, 1-1