Panthers return to 6A title game

Cooper Chadwick

Derby football is heading to the Class 6A state championship once again.

The Panthers beat Lawrence 62-28, forcing a running clock for the last 7:30 in Friday’s semifinal game. It is the seventh straight season that Derby has played in the championship game, and the Panthers are looking for a four-peat.

Junior running back Dylan Edwards had 302 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns on runs of 37, 11, 79 and 59.

Senior quarterback Mercer Thatcher also did his part to help the Panthers secure the win, finishing with 140 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Senior wide receiver Cayden Brown had 60 receiving yards, and also threw at touchdown to Drake Thatcher on a trick play.

Derby’s defense had a game, too, especially after Lawrence took a 14-7 lead in the first quarter. The Panthers controlled the offense as Derby scored 34 straight points. 

Derby (11-0) will play Blue Valley Northwest (11-1) in the state championship on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Welch Stadium in Emporia.