Bishop Carroll had been held to single digits twice in this decade.
One year after becoming the first team in eight years to accomplish the feat, Derby blanked the Class 5A perennial power, 21-0. It is the first time Bishop Carroll has been held scoreless since its 2010 season opener against Wichita Heights.
It is also the 11th shutout for the Panthers dating back to the 2012 season.
“They’ve got a very good offense, but our defense played well,” coach Brandon Clark said. “Hats off to our defensive staff because they put a good game plan together, but it’s the players that make the plays.”
After overwhelming its first three opponents offensively, Bishop Carroll’s defense brought Derby its stiffest test to date.
The Panther offense uncharacteristically punted on their first drive and then senior quarterback Grant Adler threw his first interception of the season on their ensuing possession.
Following a missed Bishop Carroll field goal, Derby marched down the field and saw Adler score his first rushing touchdown in three weeks.
Adler only had six carries after a three-touchdown effort against Garden City, but Clark said the Bishop Carroll defensive schemes opened the door for his senior quarterback to use his legs.
“It’s all about making reads and what they were trying to take away,” Clark said. “They were trying to take away Tre a little bit, so we gave Grant the ball.”
The red zone wasn’t friendly to Derby offensively as it was unable to convert on four trips on Friday night. Its defense, however, capitalized on a run-heavy Bishop Carroll offense.
Following their first missed fourth-down conversion deep in Golden Eagle territory, senior defensive back Brecken Kooser recovered an Aiden Niedens fumble on their 13-yard line.
Adler and Derby’s offense capitalized on the miscue, finding junior wide receiver Reid Liston for his first touchdown of the season on a 17-yard pass play.
Bishop Carroll marched to the Derby 18-yard line in the final minute of the first half, but a Niedens fourth-down pass fell incomplete and kept it off the scoreboard.
“We knew they had some strong backs and were good runners, but we prepared for that since Monday,” senior defensive tackle Tyler Dorsey said. “We were ready for it and we knew we’d need to fit holes and do everything perfect.”
Derby’s first drive of the second half began at the Bishop Carroll 35-yard line after a wind-aided 11-yard punt. That drive stalled and after a negative two-yard punt on Bishop Carroll’s following drive, a personal foul drove Derby back to the 19 and it was unable to convert.
“It’s a game for film for both Bishop Carroll and [our guys],” Clark said. “It’s a game that exploits your holes and where you need to get better.”
As the Panthers struggled to find rhythm offensively, their defense continued to answer.
Looking to pass midfield for the first time in the second half, senior defensive end Seth Smith and junior linebacker Coleson Syring smashed Niedens for a fourth-down stop at the Bishop Carroll 43-yard line.
Senior running back Tre Washington put almost any hopes of a Bishop Carroll comeback away when he scored from nine yards out with 3:27 remaining. What chances remained for its opposition were quickly erased when junior safety Tanner Knox got his second interception of the season on the first play of the following drive.
DRBY: 7 7 0 7— 21
BICA: 0 0 0 0— 0
D: Adler 8-yard run (Simmons kick)… 7-0
D: Liston 17-yard pass from Adler (Simmons kick)… 14-0
D: Washington 3-yard run (Simmons kick)… 21-0
DERBY TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Adler, 10-20-119-1-1
Rushing: Adler, 17-85-1; Washington, 19-69-1; Wash, 3-17, Simms, 2-(-2)
Receiving: Karsak, 2-39; Washington, 2-25; Liston, 1-17-1; Walker, 2-14; Larson, 1-12; Wash, 1-7; Simms, 1-5
BISHOP CARROLL TEAM STATISTICS
Passing: Niedens, 7-20-42-0-1
Rushing: Trail, 11-37; Hampton, 9-36; Niedens, 12-17; Nichols, 1-0
Receiving: Gallardo, 3-16; Ferguson, 1-15; Bullinger, 1-10; Pacha, 1-2; Hampton, 1-(-1)