Defending champs roll past Railers

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Newton sophomore quarterback Colby Gomez passed for 216 yards in a 50-17 loss to Derby Friday in Derby. The Railers return home this Friday to host Maize.

The highlights — Derby (1-0): Dylan Edwards rushed for 285 yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns, Derby rushed for 512 yards as a team, including three rushes of 50 yards or better. Newton (0-2): Joe Slechta picked off two passes. Colby Gomez passed for 216 yards.

The play — Derby: Edwards rushed 63 yards for a touchdown with six seconds left in the first half to put the Panthers up 35-7. Newton: Kenyon Forest hit a 30-yard halfback pass to Isaac Klug for a touchdown for the Railers’ first touchdown of the season. The score cut the Railer deficit to 14 points.

The takeaway — Derby entered the game as three-time defending Class 6A champions and look very hard to beat in this season’s opener. A game cancellation last week didn’t slow the Panthers down. Newton struggled in the trenches and still needs to establish the running game.

Up next — Newton hosts Maize at 7 p.m. Friday for the home opener. The Eagles are 2-0 after a 29-10 win over Campus.

DERBY — When Derby graduates a large senior class like the Panthers did last year, the question becomes rebuild or reload.

Unfortunately for the Newton Railer football team, it was the latter in a 50-17 loss Friday night in Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I play at the revamped Panther Stadium.

Newton junior Brody Harper wraps up a Derby ball handler during play Friday at Derby.
Newton junior Isaac Klug celebrates a touchdown reception during play Friday at Derby.

Derby rushed for 512 yards and six touchdowns, adding a passing score.

“The guys played hard,” Newton coach Chris Jaax said. “We gave up a disappointing touchdown right before half that made it 35-7. We had a chance to go into half with a little momentum. Instead they had the momentum, having giving up a big score. We had some kids play really well. Joe Slechta made a bunch of tackles on defense and had two interceptions. Jonah Remsberg forced a fumble. Offensively, we had some young guys step up. We’re trying to work in kids in different spots. We’ll get there. Obviously, they’re good.”

The Newton defense managed just two stops in the first half — forcing a punt and a Slechta interception.

Newton junior Jayden Nash returns a kickoff during play Friday at Derby.
Newton senior Ben Reyes brings down Derby running back Dylan Edwards during play Friday at Derby.

After trading turnovers that led to a Derby touchdown to start the second half, a 73-yard Luke Hirsh kickoff return set up a 33-yard Collin Hershberger field goal. Newton recovered the kickoff, but gave up the ball on downs at the Panther 6.

A fumbled punt gave Derby the ball back on the 18, where the Panthers scored with 6:41 remaining. Newton mounted a late drive that ended with a Forest touchdown run.

Newton;0;7;3;7;—;17

Derby;7;28;7;8;—;50

Scoring

1q. D M.Thatcher 4-yd. run (Simmons kick) 9:32

2q. D Edwards 10-yd. run (Simmons kick) 10:49

2q. D Edwards 70-yd. run (Simmons kick) 8:57

2q. N Klug 30-yd. pass from Forest (Hershberger kick) 5:09

2q. D Hubbard 12-yd. run (Simmons kick) 2:09

2q. D Edwards 63-yd. run (Simmons kick) :06

3q. D Cay.Brown 30-yd. pass from M.Thatcher (Simmons kick) 5:14

3q. N Hershberger 33-yd. field goal 4:16

4q. D Hubbard 18-yd. run (Clark run) 6:41

4q. N Forest 2-yd. run (Hershberger kick) :47

Team stats

;New.;Der.

First downs;13;23

Rushing-yards;27-38;51-512

Passing yards;246;46

Comp-att-int;24-43-0;2-9-2

Punts-avg.;5-32.4;2-35.0

Fumbles-lost;3-2;2-1

Penalties-yards;6-60;8-65

Individual stats

RUSHING — Newton: Forest 17-37, Gomez 9-5, na 1-(-4). Derby: Edwards 26-285, M.Thatcher 11-124, Zerger 2-16, Hubbard 8-49, Hamblin 2-12, Clark 2-26.

PASSING — Newton: Gomez 23-42-0, 216 yards; Forest 1-1-0, 30 yards. Derby: M.Thatcher 2-8-2, 46 yards; Hamblin 0-1-0, 0 yards.

RECEIVING — Newton: Forest 2-29, Ja.Schmidt 9-97, Carr 6-29, Klug 2-36, Ruggerio 4-47, Edwards 1-8. Derby: D.Thatcher 1-16, Cay.Brown 1-30.

Missed field goals — none.