A youth influx on the offensive line led to little if any trouble in Derby’s win at Garden City.
Both head coach Brandon Clark and offensive line coach Chris Pinaire said the sophomore class was positioning itself to play a factor and two of them started in the trip out west.
“We mixed in about seven guys,” Clark said of the mix that included sophomore starters Dylan Conn and Alex Key. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but they mixed in some good moments too. My expectations for this offensive line are high and hopefully we can get there through practice and experience.”
The unit obliterated Garden City up front and opened up a running game that will look to wreak havoc again this Friday at Salina Central.
The Mustangs finished 7-3 last fall and it was the first time it had hit that win total since 2007. The program went 0-9 in the two years prior to Mark Sandbo taking over as head coach.
The former Dodge City assistant has brought stability to the Salina Central program, but saw its 2019 campaign open with a 21-14 loss at Eisenhower.
Quarterback Jackson Kavanagh, who is a three-year starter for the Mustangs, threw an interception in the end zone to seal the week one loss. He completed 19-of-31 passes for 244 yards to go along with two touchdown passes. Their running game, however, was almost nonexistent as it totaled 33 carries for just 48 yards.
Derby’s secondary, which picked up two interceptions courtesy of senior Brecken Kooser and junior Tanner Knox, will face a stiffer test against Mustangs’ tight end Quinn Stewart and wide receiver Logan Heigele.
Stewart, who is an Oklahoma State commit and also plays defensive end, caught four passes for 40 yards. Heigele reeled in seven catches for 135 yards last Friday.
Derby ran for 317 yards on just 32 team carries (9.9 ypc) at Garden City. That included three touchdown runs from senior quarterback Grant Adler and one from senior running back Tre Washington.
Adler could have run for 200-plus yards if his first-quarter score of 77 yards had not been called back due to a holding penalty.
“His main purpose is to win and to win each down,” Clark said of his senior quarterback. “He’s a competitor to the tee. He can’t be that way and worry about getting injured [like seasons past].”
2019 DERBY FOOTBALL STATISTICS (THROUGH WEEK 1)
Grant Adler, 7-of-11, 92 yards, 2 TD
Lem Wash, 3-of-6, 65 yards, 1 TD
Grant Adler, 10 carries, 168 yards, 3 TD
Lem Wash, 6 carries, 77 yards, 0 TD
Tre Washington, 6 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD
Dylan Edwards, 4 carries, 26 yards, 0 TD
Tre Washington, 5 catches, 84 yards, 3 TD
Reid Liston, 2 catches, 31 yards, 0 TD
Jacob Karsak, 1 catch, 30 yards, 0 TD
Cavion Walker, 2 catches, 12 yards, 0 TD
Brecken Kooser, 1 interception
Tanner Knox, 1 interception
469 yards of offense (317 on ground, 152 through air)
3-for-6 on 3rd down
1-for-1 on 4th down