One week after its lowest home point total in eight years, Derby turned to its senior backfield duo for a major bounce back.
Quarterback Grant Adler totaled a season-high four rushing scores and running back Tre Washington tallied three scores in its 55-7 win at Salina South (1-4).
It is the third time that the Panthers (5-0) have scored three or more rushing touchdowns this season.
After scoring in just 39 seconds on a 25-yard run from Washington, Derby slammed the door on an early Salina South threat.
Running back Brandt Cox returned the kickoff to midfield and quarterback Terran Galloway connected with wide receiver Ty Garrett to reach the Panther 14-yard line. Cox, Salina South’s starter in the backfield, fumbled on the ensuing play and Derby defensive lineman Daniel Archer recovered.
Adler scored his first touchdown two minutes later to give Derby a 14-0 lead with 7:16 remaining in the first quarter.
Derby did fumble twice in the back half of the opening quarter, but Salina South was unable to muster any offense after the takeaways.
Derby’s senior signal-caller scored his second touchdown with eight minutes remaining in the first half to make it a 21-0 game. The Cougars forced a turnover on downs on the Panthers’ ensuing drive, but senior defensive back Terry Ginyard picked off Galloway two plays later.
Unlike Salina South, Derby answered quickly following the turnover to take a 27-0 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the half.
The Cougars went three and out on their first drive of the second half and Washington followed with a nine-yard run on the Panthers’ opening possession of the third quarter.
Junior linebacker Coleson Syring squashed Salina South’s hopes of answering, becoming the fifth player to intercept a pass this season. Adler scored his fourth and final touchdown on the next Derby drive.
It was Derby’s 18th-straight win and makes it six in a row and eight of the last nine against its AVCTL-I foe. It has also won 25 league games in a row, dating back to the 2014 season opener.
DRBY: 14 13 21 7— 55
SASO: 0 0 7 0— 7
D: Washington 25-yard run (Simmons kick)… 7-0
D: Adler 3-yard run (Simmons kick)… 14-0
D: Adler 5-yard run (Simmons kick)… 21-0
D: Adler 4-yard run (PAT no good)… 27-0
D: Washington 9-yard run (Simmons kick)… 34-0
D: Adler 2-yard run (Simmons kick)… 41-0
SS: Garrett 9-yard pass from Galloway (PAT good)… 41-7
D: Washington 10-yard run (Simmons kick)… 48-7
D: Wash 1-yard run (Simmons kick)… 55-7
DERBY TEAM STATISTICS—
Passing: Adler, 2-9-53-0-0
Rushing: Adler, 23-233-4; Washington, 21-182-3; Edwards, 5-65; Wash, 7-44-1; M. Thatcher, 1-(-3)
Receiving: Wright, 1-43; Liston, 1-10
SALINA SOUTH TEAM STATISTICS—
Passing: Galloway, 13-23-163-1-2
Rushing: Cox, 14-25; Copeland, 1-(-1); Galloway, 13-(-5); Nash, 3-(-10)
Receiving: Garrett, 7-100-1; Schreiber, 1-17; Ollenberger, 1-10; Copeland, 2-8; Cox, 1-3