By Blake Chadwick
With the state championships right around the corner, preparation is getting closer and closer to meeting expectations.
The Derby Panthers are the epitome of preparation meeting expectations.
The Panthers faced off against Manhattan for the third straight year in the playoffs and were victorious for the third straight year to improve to 11-0 with the 56-0 win.
The Panthers jumped out early with two quick scores from senior running back Tre Washington.
But the story was once again the dirty Derby defense.
“Everybody thought we (defense) weren’t going to be good, so we just wanted to prove everybody wrong,” Derby safety Ladell Clemons said.
The Panthers stopped the fast Indian offense in their tracks time after time. The Panthers forced another turnover as Derby defensive back Brecken Kooser had an interception to end the first half while Derby defensive back Terry Ginyard recovered a fumble.
The takeaways and 3-of-11 third-down efficiency devastated the Indians’ hopes of stopping the Panther offense. Washington had 142 rushing yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Lem Wash added two more rushing touchdowns along with a passing touchdown to receiver Cavion Walker.
The Panther play Topeka at Derby on Nov. 22.
The Northwest Grizzlies took on the Bishop Carroll Eagles for the second time this year in the rematch of the battle on Tyler Road.
The Grizzlies, “who took a while to get going,” according to Northwest junior safety Todric McGee, were forced with a huge task as Carroll has never been a team anybody wants to see in the playoffs.
But, the Grizzlies prevailed 35-18.
“We knew if we had each other’s backs then we’re always going to have a good chance of winning,” McGee said.
The backfield of Reagan Jones and Julius Bolden lived up to the hype tonight, as both added two scores each.
The Grizzlies play Maize at Northwest in the 5A semifinals on Nov. 22.
Maize vs. Maize South.
Battle of the Maize schools, who had a combined 19-1 record leading up to their heavyweight bout for the 5A sectional championship.
As the first quarter was dominated defensively by both teams, the Mavericks forced two early turnovers to show for it and was looking like they were going to win the Maverick way.
But a Preven Christon receiving touchdown for the Eagles opened the door to the end zone though, and it was the Maize defense that showed its dominance.
The Eagles beat the Mavericks 28-0.
Andover Central moves on to the next round after a 31-14 win over Buhler.
The Jaguars were led by Shomari Parnell, who scampered for an 81-yard touchdown run and threw another touchdown to receiver Xavier Bell.
The Jaguars move to 10-1.
The Jaguars took care of defense and have set the date for them to play the McPherson Bullpups in the 4A semifinals.
McPherson took care of business over Arkansas City 26-6.
The Bullpups play Andover Central at home on Nov. 22.
Andale won once again to move to 11-0 after a 42-0 win over Beloit.
The Indians play Cheney on Nov. 22.
Cheney beat Scott City 38-7.
Hoisington moves to 11-0 after a win over Garden Plain, 48-22.
The Cardinals play Norton on Nov. 22.
Smith Center handed Sedgwick its first loss by winning 21-10.