Any lingering effect from Derby’s first loss in 25 games was nowhere to be found Friday.
The two-time defending Class 6A champion Panthers rolled out a familiar blueprint in their home opener, racing to a big early lead and rolling past Maize 60-28 at Panther Stadium.
Derby (2-1), coming off a 50-20 loss at Goddard last week – its most lopsided defeat in seven years -- rolled up 676 yards and limited Maize to one rushing yard through three quarters to defeat the Eagles for the 10th time in 11 seasons. Senior running back Brody Kooser ran for 211 yards and three touchdows, and sophomore quarterback Grant Adler ran for four touchdowns and passed for two while accounting for 387 yards
“Last week was in the past,” said Kooser, who accumulated his numbers in the first three quarters. “We moved right along and just got ready for Maize. We got yelled at that night and that was it.”
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Derby scored on its first six possessions to build a 41-7 lead and was driving for another touchdown right before halftime when Maize’s Koy Willms swiped Adler’s pass in the end zone and raced 102 yards to cut the Panthers’ lead to 41-15 at halftime.
But it was a minor blip for Adler, who finished with 196 rushing yards on 15 attempts and completed 10 of 17 passes for 191 yards.
“I’m still getting used to everything,” said Adler, whose scoring binge included a 45-yard run around the left side in the first quarter after he dropped the shotgun snap. “It really helps having Brody in the backfield. He’s a senior, the No. 1 running back in the state and it’s just great.”
Derby’s defense surrendered two long touchdown passes, but also picked off Maize quarterback Caleb Grill three times. The Panthers held Maize running back Dalyn Johnson to zero yards on eight attempts. Maize got 45 of its 46 rushing yards in the fourth quarter against Panther reserves.
“This week was tough for our defense,” said Kooser, who had 143 yards at the break. “They had to step up and become tougher and just play sound football. I think they showed that tonight.”
Maize’s Camden Jurgensen caught Grill’s first touchdown pass, a 62-yarder in the second quarter, and moved to quarterback in the final period. He completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Caden Cox and was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 33 yards on seven carries.
“I’ve seen Derby do this for numerous years,” Maize coach Gary Guzman said. “They’ll lose one early and then go on a long winning streak. I kind of expected them to come out and get after us.
“You’ve got to be able to run the football to be successful, and we have not been very successful at it all year.”
Maize (2-1)0 15 6 7 – 28
Derby (2-1)21 20 13 6 – 60
D—Adler 5 run (Adler kick)
D—Kooser 6 run (Adler kick)
D—Adler 45 run (Adler kick)
D—Kooser 7 run (Adler kick)
M—Jurgensen 62 pass from Grill (Kingrey kick)
D—Kooser 28 run (run failed)
D—Brown 64 pass from Adler (Adler kick)
M—Willms 102 interception return (Espinoza run)
D—Adler 9 run (kick failed)
M—Payne 65 pass from Grill (kick failed)
D—Adler 21 run (Adler kick)
D—Larson 7 run (kick failed)
M—Cox 11 pass from Jurgensen (Kingrey kick)
Rushing—Maize, Jurgensen 7-33, Cox 6-19, D. Johnson 8-0, Grill 2-(-6). Derby, Kooser 25-211, Adler 15-196, Simms 9-37, Washington 11-29, Larson 1-7.
Passing—Maize, Grill 12-26-3-191, Jurgensen 2-2-0-24. Derby, Adler 10-17-2-191, Simms 1-1-0-5.
Receiving—Maize, Payne 4-106, Jurgensen 1-62, Pieschl 1-13, Cox 1-11, Doty 3-10, Grimes 1-9, Christon 3-4. Derby, Brown 6-107, Littleton 1-40, Taylor 2-35, Larson 1-9, Karsak 1-5.