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The matchup certainly hasn’t lost any luster in the mind of Derby coach Brandon Clark.

Since first agreeing to play each other in 2016, Derby and Bishop Carroll have brought two of Sedgwick County’s most prestigious programs together over the last four years.

Panther green has claimed each of the games thus far and Clark’s crew doesn’t want to see that shift in 2020. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. from Bishop Carroll on Friday.

“Our kids are excited and it has become quite the rivalry,” he said. “… Both of our teams bring in the same goals and that’s to get better and be ready for the playoffs. We’ll embrace this week.”

A different feel to this game is how the first two games have progressed for both programs. Before last Friday’s win at Newton, Derby (1-1) saw its 26-game winning streak snapped against Mill Valley. Bishop Carroll (2-0), however, has needed fourth-quarter comebacks to beat Junction City and Kapaun Mt. Carmel.

Derby was happy to get in the win column against its AVCTL-I foe on Friday. With so many new starters, the longtime coach is still looking for cohesion between position groups on both sides of the ball.

“All across the board, we need to toughen up,” Clark said. “That comes with confidence. The more games we get under our belt and the more live reps our kids get on Friday nights, the more confidence we’re going to have.”

Bishop Carroll had to hold off a prolific passing attack in its opening win, but a key turnover kept Kapaun Mt. Carmel from picking up its first win in the matchup since 1999.

The Golden Eagles haven’t changed their tune offensively, carrying one of the better rushing attacks in the area. That includes returning starting quarterback Aiden Niedens (second-team, all-GWAL) and running back Hunter Trail (first-team all-GWAL).

While Bishop Carrol only returned four starters to its defense in 2020, Clark credited coach Dusty Trail and his ability to mix up schemes for opposing offenses.

“They are a little more multiple on defense than they used to be,” he said. “They’ve done a good job of not letting you get comfortable.”

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