Derby wide receiver Kellen Sims is just that — a wide receiver.
So when he was asked to step in and play quarterback for injured starter Chandler Shantz on Friday against Salina Central, he was a little nervous.
“Being a wide receiver is what I want to be. I feel like that’s my position,” Sims said. “I was extremely worried. I hadn’t played quarterback in over a year.”
Apparently, the lack of time under center wasn’t a big deal.
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Sims finished with six touchdowns and 224 yards rushing on 11 carries in the Panthers’ 47-13 victory.
Every single one of his rushing yards came in the first half.
“I don’t even know how tall he is, but he’s a strong kid — quick and fast,” Salina Central coach Michael Hall said. “He’s got all the tools to make it tough to tackle in open space. Once he got in the open field, we just didn’t have anyone fast enough to catch him and bring him down.”
Sims got his big night going on the first possession. Derby’s Travis Young returned a punt 39 yards, leaving Sims with only a 19-yard field to work with.
It took Derby four plays to cover the distance, capping it off with an 8-yard Sims touchdown run.
Sims’s second score was a little more impressive. After squirting past a couple of defenders, Sims showed his track speed, blowing by the Mustang secondary for a 73-yard touchdown run.
“Kellen made our offense look a lot better than I think they really did play,” Derby coach Brandon Clark said. “I wasn’t expecting that, but I know he’s capable of doing that.”
It was clear after the first few drives that Sims was dangerous. That knowledge in no way provided an answer to Salina Central in how to stop him.
Sims added a touchdown pass of 28 yards to Luke Palmer, a 49-yard touchdown run that was even more impressive than his 73-yard run, and even caught a 49-yard touchdown pass from Shantz.
All before halftime.
Sims added one more score, a 29-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Goolsby, in the first drive of the third quarter to cap off his night.
If Sims doesn’t play quarterback again after Friday, that’s OK with him. And it’s probably OK with future Panther opponents as well.
“I’ll do it,” Sims said about playing quarterback. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”
D—Sims 8 run (Moeder kick)
D—Sims 73 run (Moeder kick)
SC—Delgado 6 catch from Maldaner (Garlow kick)
D—Becker 15 interception return (Moeder kick)
D—Palmer 28 catch from Sims (Moeder kick)
D—Sims run 49 (kick miss)
D—Sims 49 catch from Shantz (kick miss)
D—Goolsby 29 catch from Sims (Moeder kick)
SC—Veal 7 run (kick miss)
Rushing—Salina Central, Maldaner 10-38, Ryan 10-35, Cookson 5-25, Garlow 6-7; Derby, Sims 11-224, Peter 8-56, Rust 9-38, Snodgrass 4-2, Shantz 1-(-7)
Passing—Salina Central, Maldaner 3-12-51-1; Sims 3-5-60-1, Shantz 1-1-49-1, Snodgrass 0-1-0-0.
Receiving—Salina Central, Veal 2-40, 1-11; Derby, Goolsby 2-53, Sims 1-49, West 1-7