A win certainly quenches the thirst left standing after last week’s loss to Mill Valley.
However, Derby now will take a trip back to the drawing boards after holding off Newton, 43-31, in a surprisingly tough trip to Fischer Field on Friday night.
Sophomore running back Dylan Edwards and senior quarterback Lem Wash had three touchdowns apiece. That helped hold off two touchdown passes from Newton quarterback Ben Schmidt.
Derby’s opening drive stalled at the Newton 34-yard line, but Edwards put it on the board with a 12-yard run on the ensuing drive. Just as it tried to take hold of the game, Newton defensive back Jonah Remsberg took back an incoming Wash pass for a 75-yard pick six.
While the Panthers pushed their lead to 16-7, Schmidt found Peyton Maxwell for a 50-yard touchdown to make it a two-point game at halftime.
“First off, Newton coach [Chris] Jaax is a brilliant offensive mind,” Clark said. “Some of these plays were trick plays and we’d call them as coaches but our kids’ eyes go to a different place. He’d pop out with something else then … when you only have one week of film, they can add a lot more to their playbook than what they showed you that first week.”
Edwards’ number was called on each of Derby’s drives to open the second half. The sophomore scored on back-to-back plays, totaling 90 yards on each of the two touchdowns.
“We talked to Dylan [at halftime] how we were going to need him with speed,” Clark said. “Man … he looked like he got shot out of a cannon on those two plays. Not a guy who will be faster than Dylan on the field and he proved it those plays.”
The pair of touchdowns gave Derby a 30-14 advantage with 9:16 left in the third quarter. The 16-point edge didn’t last as Kenyon Forest broke free for a 54-yard score on the following possession.
It’s a sequence where Clark said it’s important that his defensive line takes that next step in development.
“Our defensive line is really good when they play with great technique and a motor,” Clark said. ‘“Some plays we watch them and they’re lights out. We’re just not consistent enough. We see the flashes of greatness and then the next two plays you don’t see that again.”
On its final drive of the third quarter, Derby’s defense kept Newton off the board as Schmidt’s pass fell past the outstretched fingers of Maxwell in the end zone. Collin Hershberger cut the Derby lead to 30-24 on its next drive with a 24-yard field goal with 9:26 remaining.
Looking to put a stamp on the game, Wash scored his second touchdown to make it a 36-24 game. The run came on 4th-and-11 from the Newton 18.
While it looked like the Panthers may have put in their final shot on their AVCTL-I foe, the Railers needed just one play to make it 36-31 with 6:52 remaining. The score came on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Schmidt to Xzavion Martin.
Derby ran almost four minutes off its next drive and its senior quarterback ran in his third and final score to give Derby a 43-31 lead with 3:20 left.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Newton, now losing each of its first two games despite scoring a combined 65 points.
DERBY 7 9 14 13 – 43
NEWTON 7 7 7 10 – 31
1Q D: Edwards 12-yard run (Simmons kick) 7-0
N: Remsberg 75-yard (PAT good) 7-7
2Q D: Safety 9-0
D: Wash 1-yard run (Simmons kick) 16-7
N: Maxwell 50-yard pass from Schmidt (PAT good) 16-14
3Q D: Edwards 39-yard run (Simmons kick) 23-14
D: Edwards 51-yard run (Simmons kick) 30-14
N: Forest 54-yard run (PAT good) 30-21
4Q N: Hershberger 24-yard FG 30-24
D: Wash 18-yard run (Simmons kick no good) 36-24
N: Martin 75-yard pass from Schmidt (PAT good) 36-31
D: Wash 8-yard run (Simmons kick) 43-31
DERBY TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Wash, 5-8-30-0-1
Rushing: Edwards, 30-241-3; Wash, 23-172-3; Der. Hubbard, 6-18
Receiving: D. Thatcher, 3-23; Liston, 1-7; Edwards, 1-0
NEWTON TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Schmidt, 11-27-254-2
Rushing: Forest, 15-67; Schmidt, 3-(-23)
Receiving: Maxwell, 6-121; Martin, 1-75; J. Schmidt, 1-22; Botterweck, 1-10; Forest, 2-28