SM East football head coach Dustin Delaney is often quick to credit co-coordinators Chip Ufford and Jason Filbeck for the Lancers’ stingy defense – a front that had until Friday’s game against Olathe North not allowed more than 22 points in a game all year.
It’s safe to say Ufford, Filbeck and their defense have their work cut out for them on Saturday.
The Lancers will be facing a Derby Pathers squad in the 6A title game that has put up eye-popping numbers week after week. The Panthers’ point totals for 12 games in 2013 are, from least to most: 28, 35, 35, 36, 45, 49, 54, 55, 55, 56, 62 and 76.
That’s right, 76.
What’s more, the Panthers are playing some of their most cohesive football of the year. Derby trounced Garden City in their sub-state game, putting up 48 points in the first half alone and opening up a lead large enough that the officials enacted the running clock “game-ending procedure” in the third quarter. (KSHSAA rules allow the officials to keep the clock running when a team is up by 45 points or more).
To put that in some additional context, the Panthers scored as many points in just the second quarter of Friday’s game — 27 — as the Lancers have given up over the course of an entire game all season long.
It was actually the second week in a row officials had enacted the running clock rule for Derby. They put it in effect after the Panthers opened up a huge lead on their way to a 55-20 win over Manhattan in District play. And Derby’s performance in the opening round of the playoffs? A 56-7 route over Wichita North.
Derby’s offense is powered largely by quarterback Jeremy Dunham, running back Tyler West and tight end DeAndre Goolsby, who signed a letter of intent this month to play college ball at the University of Florida.