A third-straight year of Derby and Manhattan had the making of a four-quarter game.
The Panthers and Indians had been ranked in the top five of Class 6A every week this fall. Coach Brandon Clark’s crew had also not scored more than 24 points against them in the previous two games.
That storyline was demolished on Friday night.
Senior running back Tre Washington scored three first-quarter touchdowns and Derby (11-0) bludgeoned Manhattan (9-2) in a 56-0 win in the state quarterfinals.
It is the first shutout against the Indians since 2012. They also had not lost by 50 or more points in 21 years.
It sets up another playoff rematch in next week’s sub-state game as Derby will welcome Topeka (10-1) to play for a fifth-straight trip to Emporia.
Just how good is Derby football this fall?
Perhaps we don’t need to look any further than the Class 5A or 6A quarterfinals. Three teams, including Manhattan, Bishop Carroll and Maize reached the round of the state playoffs. Derby has now beaten them by a combined score of 132-7.
On Friday night, it took less than 90 seconds for the onslaught to begin.
Washington needed just over a minute to cap off a game-opening touchdown drive with a 12-yard run. Derby was forced to punt on its following drive, but it was the only silence its opposition would hear.
The senior running back scored on Derby’s ensuing drive on a 35-yard run, making it a 14-0 lead with 6:24 remaining in the first quarter. Looking to cut it to a one-score game, Manhattan and quarterback Dayne Aschenbrenner drove down to the Derby 28-yard line. However, its 4th-and-5 pass attempt fell incomplete.
Badly fooling the Indian defense on a designed quarterback run, senior Grant Adler set up Washington’s third score with a 56-yard run that was stopped at the Indian 2-yard line.
It took Derby less than two minutes to score in the second quarter as Adler connected with junior wide receiver Reid Liston on a 54-yard score.
Manhattan’s hopes were dashed again on its next drive, fumbling at its own 40-yard line. Junior quarterback Lem Wash came into the game and scored on a run to make it a 42-0 lead with 2:07 remaining in the first half.
The Indians were looking for a shot of life heading into halftime, but an off-balance Aschenbrenner throw fell in the hands of Panther defensive back Brecken Kooser at the goal line.
Derby tacked on two more scores in the third quarter, including the second career touchdown for freshman Dylan Edwards on a screen pass from sophomore Mercer Thatcher.
DRBY: 21 21 14 0— 56
MHTN: 0 0 0 0— 0
D: Washington 12-yard run (Simmons kick)… 7-0
D: Washington 35-yard run (Simmons kick)… 14-0
D: Washington 2-yard run (Simmons kick)… 21-0
D: Liston 54-yard pass from Adler (Simmons kick)… 28-0
D: Wash 31-yard run (Simmons kick)… 35-0
D: Wash 40-yard run (Simmons kick)… 42-0
D: Walker 39-yard pass from Wash (Simmons kick)… 49-0
D: Edwards 24-yard pass from Thatcher (Simmons kick)… 56-0
DERBY TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Adler, 1-2-54-1; Wash, 1-2-39-1; Thatcher, 1-3-24-1
Rushing: Washington, 11-142-3; Edwards, 5-90; Wash, 4-84-2; Adler, 5-40; Thatcher, 3-(-6); Hamblin, 1-(-10)
Receiving: Liston, 1-54-1; Walker, 1-39-1; Edwards, 1-24-1
MANHATTAN TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Aschenbrenner, 5-21-110-0-1
Rushing: Aschenbrenner, 16-48; Young, 10-37; N/A, 1-2; Wilhoite, 1-1
Receiving: Higgins, 1-43, Reid, 2-38; Wilhoite, 1-31; Young, 1-(-2)