By Blake Chadwick
Friday night at Maize was an AVCTL I matchup between two elite teams — undefeated Maize played host to one-loss Derby.
It did not disappoint as Maize came back to beat Derby 36-35 in the final two minutes. It’s Derby’s first AVCTL I loss since 2014, when it lost at Maize.
The game started off slower than both teams had in the past, but after both teams’ first possessions were scoreless, Derby found its offensive spark in sophomore running back Dylan Edwards.
Edwards gave Derby the early lead, but Maize responded on its ensuing possession as senior running back Josh Sanders shook off the whole Derby D to break the game open for the Eagles.
After an interception by the Eagle defense, Maize quarterback Avery Johnson threw a quick strike to Justin Stephens to go up 12-7.
But Derby used three first-half touchdowns from Edwards to take a 21-19 lead at halftime. Edwards finished with 137 rushing yards, while Lem Wash had 103.
Maize had just been in a similar situation on Oct. 9 when the Eagles trailed Maize South for most of the game.
“Two weeks in a row we had to come back and have a wild finish,” Maize coach Gary Guzman said.
The game went back and forth as the teams traded touchdowns. Derby quarterback Lem Wash threw a touchdown to wide receiver Drake Thatcher for the 28-19 lead
But as long as Maize has Sanders on its side, the Eagles won’t be out of the end zone for too long. His ability to cut, evade tacklers, carry tacklers and sprint past defenders makes him unbelievably dangerous.
Sanders’ touchdown got Maize within 28-26 midway through the third quarter.
Once again Wash found Drake Thatcher for the touchdown for the nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Thanks to a field goal from Maize kicker Cole Segraves, the game tightened up once again.
But stop after stop from the two defenses would inevitably lead to a go-ahead one-yard rushing touchdown from Sanders for his fourth touchdown of the night with 2:11 to go.
“Football is a game of schemes, and we came out and outschemed them,” Sanders said.
Maize sealed the victory with an interception in the final minute as Derby was driving in Eagles territory.
Another premiere matchup, but in the City League this time, as Wichita East met Wichita Northwest in the battle of unbeatens.
It was a game where both teams had been scoring at ridiculous rates — Northwest averaged nearly 70 points a game in its four victories, while East averaged nearly 60.
Friday, though, the defensive talent outshined the offense as Northwest won 17-2 to improve to 5-0.
After trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, the Aces found themselves in real some trouble for the first time all season.
The Grizzlies led 17-2 at halftime and that score would ride out for the rest of the game as neither the Aces nor Grizzlies could manage to put any more points on the scoreboard.
East falls to 4-1.
East suffered a scare when quarterback Daeonte Mitchell got injured and was taken away in an ambulance. His status was unknown as of 11:30 p.m.
The Bishop Carroll Eagles had a statement went as they beat Miege 56-35 on the road. Miege is the six-time defending 4A champs.
The Eagles are now 4-2.
Andale took care of Clearwater 40-21 thanks to 196 rushing yards and four touchdowns from Noah Meyer. Clearwater’s Tanner Cash had 130 rushing yards.
Collegiate and Wesley Fair won 33-0 at Halstead and is 7-0.
Maize South bounced back against Hays with a 21-20 win. Maize South is 4-2.
Hutchinson was able to take care of Campus 42-28. The Salthawks are 6-1 and back to their winning ways after the Week 5 loss to Andover.
Andover Central got the huge win over its crosstown rival Andover in a defensive battle. The final score was 7-0 and the Jaguars are 5-1.
McPherson beat Mulvane 52-0. The Bullpups are 6-1.
Cheney remains unbeaten after beating Nickerson 42-6.
Andale 40, Clearwater 21
Andover Central 7, Andover 0
Augusta 47, Abilene 0
Beloit St. John’s-Tipton 59, Lakeside-Down 34
Bishop Carroll 56, Bishop Miege 35
Canton-Galva 66, Solomon 0
Central Plains 54, Hutchinson Central Christian 0
Chase County 54, Udall 0
Cheney 42, Nickerson 6
Clifton-Clyde 64, Argonia-Attica 16
Conway Springs 57, Stanton County 0
Eisenhower 37, Dodge City 30
El Dorado 43, Circle 10
Garden Plain 55, Belle Plaine 24
Goddard 36, Salina Central 18
Hesston 54, Trinity Academy 13
Hillsboro 1, Lyons 0, forfeit
Holcomb 35, Pratt 22
Hutchinson 42, Campus 28
Kingman 81, Bluestem 0
Madison 54, Flinthills 0
Maize 36, Derby 35
Maize South 21, Hays 20
Marion 22, Stering 20
Minneapolis 34, Beloit 26
Moundridge 56, Fairfield 0
McPherson 52, Mulvane 0
Newton 42, Salina South 41
Norwich 68, Stafford 22
Oakley 40, Salina Sacred Heart 6
Osage City 42, Eureka 7
Pratt Skyline 44, LaCrosse 34
Rose Hill 48, Winfield 7
Sedgwick 52, Elkhart 21
SE-Saline 53, Smoky Valley 8
Valley Center 27, Arkansas City 21
Wellington 27, Buhler 13
Wichita Collegiate 33, Halstead 0
Wichita Northwest 17, Wichita East 2
Wichita Southeast 55, Wichita North 0