Derby does it again with third straight 6A title
OLATHE — Locked in a shootout with Blue Valley North midway through the second half of Saturday’s Class 6A state championship game, Derby did what Derby’s done for much of the decade.
The Panthers took the game by the throat.
Derby scored three touchdowns in the final 2:30 of the first half, turning a 21-21 tie into a 42-21 halftime lead that eventually became a 56-31 Panther victory. The state title was the third straight for Derby (9-2), fifth in the last six years and sixth since 2013.
Through one and a half quarters, Blue Valley North was every bit the Panthers’ match. The Mustangs answered each of Derby’s first three scores with touchdowns of their own, the last an 80-yard pass from Henry Martin to Connor Stratton.
Then Reid Liston took over. The Panther receiver caught touchdown passes of 44 and 15 yards from Lem Wash, the first breaking the tie and the second coming with 1:08 left in the half.
After Derby’s Cade Lindsey picked off Martin, Liston hit Drake Thatcher on a 40-yard reverse touchdown pass with seven seconds left for a 42-21 halftime lead.
Wash and Liston then hooked up for a third score to start the second half to stretch Derby’s lead to 49-21 and the Mustangs never got closer than 25 the rest of the way.
Slowed by an injury early in the season, Wash finished his career with a huge game. The senior quarterback threw for 239 yards and four touchdowns, including an 18-yarder to Dylan Edwdards to start the game, and also ran for 110 yards and three touchdowns (runs of 12, 28 and 16 yards).
Liston finished with 142 yards receiving while Edwards ran for 170 yards.
North’s Martin threw for 450 yards and three touchdowns in the defeat, the Mustangs’ second title-game loss to Derby in three years after halting the Panthers’ run with a championship win in 2017.
DERBY 56, BLUE VALLEY NORTH 31
Blue Valley North (8-3);14;7;3;7;—;31
Derby — Edwards 18 pass from Wash (Simmons kick)
BV North — Freberg 5 pass from Martin (Sprenger kick)
Derby — Wash 12 run (Simmons kick)
BV North — Hendrickson 46 pass from Martin (Sprenger kick)
Derby — Wash 28 run (Simmons kick)
BV North — Stratton 80 passs from Martin (Sprenger kick)
Derby — Liston 44 pass from Wash (Simmons kick)
Derby — Liston 15 pass from Wash (Simmons kick)
Derby —Thatcher 40 pass from Liston (Simmons kick)
Derby — Liston 24 pass from Wash (Simmons kick)
BV North — Sprenger 32 field goal
Derby —Wash 16 run (Simmons kick)
BV North — Bullock 3 run (Sprenger kick)
Rushing — Derby: Edwards 22-170, Wash 19-110, Hubbard 3-6, Liston 1-1. BV North: None available.
Passing —Derby: Wash 16-19-0, 239 yards; Liston 1-1-0, 40 yards. BV North: Martin 31-53-2, 450 yards.
Receiving — Derby: Liston 8-142, M. Thatcher 4-60, D. Thatcher 2-48, Edwards 2-21, Rose 1-8. BV North: None available.