By Blake Chadwick
As Derby (7-2) traveled to Lawrence on Friday, the Panthers had one thing in mind: continuing their winning tradition in the postseason.
Except this time they were the underdogs.
It didn’t matter as Derby handed unbeaten and top-seeded Lawrence the 40-20 loss to advance to the Class 6A semifinals at Junction City.
But Derby got off to a slow start.
On the opening kickoff, Derby sophomore Dylan Edwards was slung down, causing him to fumble. It gave Lawrence the ball in their redzone where they were able to score three plays later for the 6-0 lead.
But like the speed demon the running back is, he was able to put the fumble in the past just like he did the Lawrence defense — he took the ensuing kickoff to the house to tie the score.
“I know I had to make up for my mistake by fumbling when starting the game off. My teammates did a great job setting the blocks allowing me to get to the edge,” Edwards said.
After a muffed snap by Lawrence, Derby’s Andon Carpenter recovered the fumble, and quarterback Lem Wash and the Panthers were able to capitalize a few plays later off of a touchdown from Wash to Thatcher.
And that was all the momentum the Panthers needed to pull away.
Thanks to two more rushing touchdowns from Wash and a rushing touchdown from Edwards, the Panthers had a 33-6 lead at halftime.
Wash was 4-of-4 passing for 52 yards and he also had 62 rushing yards. Edwards had 19 carries for 158 yards.
The East High Blue Aces (7-2) lost a tough one 49-42 at Junction City (9-1), ending their historic season at 7-2.
The Aces had last won a playoff game in 1983.
After a back-and-forth game, the Blue Jays were able to sneak out with the W.
East quarterback — and former wide receiver — Daylan Jones had 305 passing yards and four touchdowns.
In a Class 5A City League battle — and facing off for the first time this season — the Kapaun Mount Carmel Crusaders traveled to play the Wichita Northwest Grizzlies.
While Northwest (9-0) won 26-14 to advance to the 5A semifinals for the third straight yeargain, the Crusaders struck first with a Ethan Stuhlsatz receiving touchdown.
Then on the ensuing kickoff, just like Derby — almost simultaneously — Northwest’s Geremiah Moore returned it for a touchdown.‘
After a tough first quarter, the Crusaders found themselves leading 14-7 and unbeaten Northwest was in a dog fight.
After a touchdown and then a last-second 37-yard field goal from Carson Arndt to end the half, Northwest led 17-14.
Arndt’s second field goal gave Northwest some more breathing room, and after a touchdown by sophomore LJ Phillips, Northwest found themselves winning another one on their quest to make it back to the Championship.
Northwest’s defense clamped down the Kapaun offensive attack, and didn’t allow any points in the second half.
Northwest will play host to Carroll in a rivalry game for a chance to play for a 5A title.
In an offensive shootout between Bishop Carroll and Maize, the Golden Eagles were able to pull away for the 49-35 victory.
Carroll (8-2) last played in the 5A title game in 2017 when it won the championship.
Aiden Niedens threw for three touchdowns — two to Oscar Gallardo — and ran for another two to put them in the driver’s seat after an offensive dogfight.
After a 28-all score at the half, Cade Gatschet and Matthew Morrell both had interceptions in the third quarter.
The Golden Eagles will travel to play Northwest next week
McPherson (10-1) took care of Buhler 28-21. Quarterback Dylan Rinker threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for the Bullpups. McPherson will play host to Arkansas City in the 4A semifinals.
Arkansas City (5-6) stopped a two-point conversion attempt by Wamego to hang on for the 21-20 win.
Andale (10-0) continued its tear after a 42-0 win over Riley County. The Indians will play host to Wichita Collegiate (10-1) in the 3A semifinals
Collegiate’s only loss is to Andale, suffered on Oct. 23.
Collegiate’s final score was from sophomore quarterback Wesley Fair, who scored with less than a minute to go to edge SE-Saline 27-22.
Beloit, which finished the regular season 2-6, advanced to the 2A semifinals with a 33-26 double overtime win over Haven.
Beloit will play host to Hoisington (11-0), which beat Garden Plain 28-14.
Inman (9-2) won over Conway Springs 46-6. Inman’s Kendyn Blank rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns off of 14 carries.
Inman will play at Oakley (9-2) in the 1A semifinals.
BV North 30, SM Northwest 6
Derby 40, Lawrence 2o
Junction City 49, Wichita East 42
Olathe North 28, Blue Valley 21
Bishop Carroll 49, Maize 35
Mill Valley 16, DeSoto 13
Wichita Northwest 26, Kapaun 14
St. Thomas Aquinas 32, BV Southwest 7
Arkansas City 21, Wamego 20
Bishop Miege 30, Tonganoxie 7
McPherson 28, Buhler 21
St. James Academy 56, Basehor-Linwood 35
Andale 42, Riley County 0
Holton 42, Frontenac 6
Perry-Lecompton 49, Prairie View 14
Wichita Collegiate 27, SE-Saline 22
Beloit 33, Haven 26, 2 OT
Hoisington 28, Garden Plain 14
Nemaha Central 7, Osage City 0
Rossville 56, Pittsburg Colgan 7
Inman 46, Conway Springs 6
Lyndon 26, Centralia 14
Oakley 20, Smith Center 0
Olpe 1, Uniontown 0
Leoti 52, Attica-Argonia 0
Little River 70, Chase County 26
Hoxie 58, Goessel 12
Madison 34, Canton-Galva 24
Frankfort 45, Lebo 40
Hanover 48, Crest 0
Victoria 44, Wheatland-Grinnell 26
Caldwell at St. Francis