Football back on the road

Blake Chadwick

The road to a third straight Class 6A state championship continues for the Derby Panthers as they play at the Junction City Bluejays and their high-flying offense on Friday night.

Unlike previous seasons, the Panthers find themselves on the road once again in the playoffs due to seeding. 

But this team has embraced the “road dawg” status. 

Junior defensive back Corey Akins said that they are looking at Junction City as “another stair on the climb to a state championship.” 

The junior is facing some adversity of his own as he has been battling a broken hand since the Gardner-Edgerton game. 

Akins and the rest of the defense will have to be on point as Junction City, very much like the Panthers, appear to be clicking on all cylinders.

The Bluejays are on a nine-game win streak after opening the season with a one-point loss to Bishop Carroll, which is playing in the 5A semifinals. 

Derby beat Carroll 35-21 in the third week of the season.

The Jays have outscored their opponents 410-222 during the past nine games. 

The Panthers, on the other hand, come in with all the momentum, after knocking off Lawrence, the No. 1 team in 6A, in the quarterfinals.