Football notes: Derby travels to Dodge the old-school way
If Derby needs any extra motivation for Friday’s Class 6A football quarterfinal at Dodge City, the Panthers need only look at their transportation on the three-hour drive west.
“We were offered the use of a charter bus, but I want us on the old-school buses,” Derby coach Brandon Clark said. “I don’t want them to feel spoiled. That’s the type of mentality we’ve had all year.”
The Red Demons’ play as of late demands a sharpened focus – regardless of the Panthers’ accommodations.
Dodge City (5-5) is coming off a 24-20 victory at Garden City in its district finale on Oct. 26 – a win-or-go-home game – followed by a 38-6 win at Manhattan last Friday in the first round of the playoffs.
Derby (9-1) beat North 70-7 in its playoff opener.
“They’re very explosive, athletes all over the place,” Clark said. “I think (Dodge City coach Dave Foster) is an unbelievable offensive coach … I’ve seen him at coaching clinics and he’s got a million formations and a million ways to score.”
Dodge City’s offense is led by 6-foot-5, 185-pound junior quarterback Kelan Newton, who has thrown for 2,474 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Running back Parker Davis, who has committed to Air Force, ran for 203 yards against Manhattan.
“I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen on film from (Newton),” Clark said. “He’s just gotten better throughout the year.”
Numbers do the talking – Buhler junior Riley Allen doesn’t want to take his place next to some of the Crusaders’ greatest running backs just yet, but even if the season were to end today, his statistics would make the argument for him.
Allen has rushed for 2,164 yards. He has 2,551 yards of total offense and 32 touchdowns. He’s the fourth Crusader to break the 2,000-yard mark in recent years.
Buhler (8-3) travels to Mulvane (10-1) Friday for a Class 4A quarterfinal game. Mulvane defeated Buhler 38-34 on Sept. 14 – Allen ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to play (Mulvane) again … they’re a really good team, really physical,” Allen said. “I try not to think about the numbers or stats or anything like that. I want to keep my focus on trusting my line and hitting my holes whenever I get the opportunity.”
Allen has also returned two kicks for touchdowns.
“Obviously there’s been a long line of great running backs at Buhler,” Mulvane coach Dave Fennewald said. “But (Allen) doesn’t just make an impact when he’s at running back. He’s also dangerous on kick returns.
“(Buhler) threw the ball really well against us last time … they did some things differently that we hadn’t seen in the past with a couple of spread formations.”
Uniquely awesome – Friday’s Class 3A quarterfinal matchup between Garden Plain (11-0) and Scott City (11-0) in Scott City is the only playoff game between undefeated teams, on any level, in the playoffs this weekend.
“It’s going to be a lot like playing down at Conway Springs because of the loyal fans and the great atmosphere,” Garden Plain coach Brad McCormick said. “We also have fans that are very loyal and we’re very excited to be in this type of ballgame.”
Scott City has scored more than 50 points in five of its last six games. The Beavers’ defense has been equally as stout – they didn’t give up a point in district play, have four shutouts and gave up seven points or less four other times.