It was hard to tell that Derby was without its top running back during Friday’s 47-14 victory over Southeast at Carpenter Stadium.
With senior Evan Oaks on the sideline, Derby dominated with 470 rushing yards to open up Class 6A-District 7 play.
“We played well at times. For the most part our kids really played hard. That’s the No. 1 thing we ask for,” Derby coach Brandon Clark said. “I’m not sure if we’ve peaked yet, but we sure played some better ball today.”
Derby found the end zone on its first five possessions, going into halftime with a 34-0 lead.
Junior running back Jerrell Hudson led the offensive onslaught, scoring the game’s first four touchdowns.
Hudson picked up three rushing touchdowns, two from 10 yards and one from four, and scored one on a 25-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Harrison.
Nursing an injury, Hudson sat out the second half. Freshman Tyler West took over most of the rushing duties. He had 19 carries for 131 yards, including a 20-yard scoring run.
“Tyler doesn’t look like a freshman and he doesn’t play like a freshman,” Clark said. “Asking a freshman to step up in district play is pretty special. We have confidence in him as long as he has confidence in himself.”
West did not have much time to get over the freshman jitters. Despite having a breakout game, West said he was gun shy taking snaps with the varsity.
“I was a little nervous,” West said. “I just didn’t want to mess up and let my team down.”
Harrison also had a big game, rushing for 120 yards and throwing for 93.
Southeast’s stagnant offense managed 69 rushing yards. Dexter Hays had two touchdown catches for the Buffaloes’ scores.
As far as Clark is concerned, his team has a clean slate with the beginning of district play.
“We had the district mentality all season long,” he said. “We talked about our first six games being pre-season and Week 7 being our focal point.”
Derby (4-3, 1-0) 7 27 13 0 — 47
Southeast (2-5, 0-1) 0 0 7 7 — 14
D—Hudson 10 run (Weidner kick)
D—Hudson 4 run (kick failed)
D—Hudson 10 run (kick failed)
D—Hudson 25 pass from Harrison (Harrison run)
D—West 20 run (Weidner kick)
SE—Hays 15 pass from Parks (Rhodes kick)
D—Jewell 15 run (kick failed)
D—Harrison 17 run (Weidner kick)
SE—Hays 25 pass from Parks (Rhodes kick)
Rushing—Derby, West 18-131, Harrison 11-120, Sims 10-101, Hudson 12-59, Sparks 2-33, Jewell 2-26. Southeast, Hayes 5-27, Smith 12-30, Johnson 1-0, Metcalfe 2-0, Taylor 1-0, Parks 8-12.
Passing—Derby, Harrison 6-9-93-1, Sims 1-1-0. Southeast, Parks 9-19-154-1, Taylor 1-1-24-1.
Receiving—Derby, Hudson 3-46, West 1-18, Sparks 1-17, Jewell 1-12, Liston 1-6.Southeast, Hayes 4-70, Bluma 2-64, Taylor 2-16, Smith 1-15, Metcalfe 1-13.