Derby tallied nine touchdowns in a 61-18 win over Hutchinson on Friday, but the Panthers spent much of the night watching.
Running back Brody Kooser, who rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries, watched his backup, sophomore Tre Washington, score twice with 78 yards on six carries.
Quarterback Grant Adler watched receiver Tyler Brown turn short passes into exciting scampers. Brown had two long runs after catches and had 130 receiving yards with two touchdowns.
And Derby’s sideline watched as Jacob Ormsby scooped up a fumble and sprint 65 yards for a game-changing touchdown in the second quarter. It was the biggest play among Derby’s 46 consecutive points after it trailed 18-15 before halftime.
“That’s some big momentum. I think they knew it, too,” Derby coach Brandon Clark said. “Our sideline is jumping up and down and that defense that just scored is getting ready to take the field again and they’re even more hungry. Those momentum shifts are huge in a game between two good football teams.”
Derby (3-1) started fast after Adler’s opening 71-yard run led to a touchdown, but the Panthers were soon trying to steal back the advantage. Hutchinson’s Joesiah Galindo scored from 74 yards on the Salthawks’ first play, not the last in a half filled with significant gains.
The teams combined for 365 yards in the first 13-plus minutes, with Brown’s 82-yard catch-and-run giving Derby a 15-10 lead with 3:58 to go in the half.
Hutchinson (3-1) briefly regained the lead before halftime, but its fast start proved to be an outlier. After Galindo’s long run, Hutchinson gained 114 yards on 36 more plays in the first half.
“This is the first time that some of these (defensive) guys have started,” Clark said. “I think it hit them real quick. They adjusted, I was proud of them. (Hutchinson) didn’t get big plays like that every time. The team that we want is the team that gets a little adversity and learns from that and gets better.”
Kooser took off in the second half with touchdown runs of 40 and 43 yards as Derby pulled away in the second half. Four of his nine carries went for at least 39 yards, giving him a short but fruitful night.
“I just feed off the team, the (offensive) line doing their job blocking on every play,” Kooser said. “It’s really the o-line that I feed off of.”
Kooser ended up with a nice view of Washington’s performance, which nearly mirrored his own. On their first four combined carries, the two running backs had minus-1 yard. But both quickly found their stride.
Washington’s came on his third carry, a 42-yarder that led to his short score. His final carry, and Derby’s final touchdown, was a 29-yarder in the final four minutes.
“Tre did great. He came out and did great,” Kooser said. “He’s a great player, so he did what everybody expected.”
Derby never slowed with an offense featuring several complementary pieces. Kooser and Adler form a dangerous backfield tandem in which one player’s success often leads to the other’s.
Brown gives Adler a weapon in the passing game that can make any pass a potential touchdown. All elements were in place in Derby’s second straight impressive performance following a loss at Goddard.
“We’ve got so many young guys,” Clark said. For those guys to step up like that, I was proud of them. ...Our defense is really starting to step up and our offense, if we eliminate the turnovers, we do all right.”
Hutchinson 10 8 0 0 – 18
Derby 15 14 20 12 – 61
D--Adler 1 run (Syring kick)
H--Galindo 74 run (Dimitt kick)
H--Dimitt 22 FG
D--Brown 82 pass from Adler (Adler run)
H--Rhoades 1 run (Crough run)
D--Kooser 2 run (Syring kick)
D--Ormsby 65 fumble return (Syring kick)
D--Kooser 40 run (Syring kick)
D--Brown 36 pass from Adler (Syring kick)
D--Kooser 43 run (kick failed)
D--Washington 1 run (kick failed)
D--Washington 29 run (kick failed)
Rushing--Hutchinson, Galindo 25-190, Rhoades 14-66, Smith 11-46, Crough 8-20, Heneha 3-8, Jones 1-(-19); Derby, Kooser 9-185, Washington 6-78, Adler 7-77, Simms 6-11.
Passing--Hutchinson, Rhoades 0-1-0-0 INT, Jones 0-1-0-0; Derby, Adler 5-13-146-2, Simms 1-1-16-0.
Receiving--Hutchinson, none; Derby, Brown 3-130, Walker 1-16, Leon 1-11, Littleton 1-5.