WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Game of the Week for this week of Kansas High School Football is a 6A-5A matchup between the Derby Panthers and the Bishop Carroll Golden Eagles.
The home team, Bishop Carroll, is off to a great start to their season with back-to-back wins against rivals Wichita Northwest and Wichita South.
In both games, the Golden Eagles have scored more than 50 points, but this week they are playing a Derby team that has been great on defense for the better part of a decade.
“We are going to have to control the ball a little bit,” explained Bishop Carroll head coach Dusty Trail. “Establish drives be consistent to try and keep Dylan [Edwards] off the field, and that will help our defense out a little bit. Defensively we all got to work together. and rally to the ball and make some plays.”
It’s a challenge coach Trail is excited for.
“If we get the win, and we improve in some areas that we need to improve, then that’s a big plus on our side and goes a long way in carrying us through the season. If we win and don’t make those improvements, it’s not going to mean as much, obviously. Of course, if we end up with a loss, but we make improvements, then we are still heading in the right direction.”
As for the Derby Panthers, head coach Brandon Clark and the players believe they’re nowhere near their peak yet, and they are just going to continue to work toward the level that has produced six straight trips to the 6A state title game.
“The key elements to win [against Bishop Carroll] is to control the ball,” explained coach Clark. “No turnovers, communicate that’s been big without wide receivers and our offensive line. It’s communication and our defense, so I think it’s those two things that we can do and improve on. I think we might set ourselves up to at least be in position.”
But after going 1-1 in their first two games, the team knows the Golden Eagles are a tough challenge if Derby wants to get their record above .500.
“They’re a really well-coached team,” said coach Clark. “They have some really fine athletes too. So when you put those two together, it becomes a tough matchup.”
For Derby’s offense and defense, what they are looking out for is the speed of the Golden Eagles.
“They’re really fast, d-line is really good, linebackers are really good, safeties are really good, so we just have to get our guys blocked, run our routes right and just have to anticipate where the ball is going to be before it is there,” said Brock Zerger, Derby’s senior quarterback, said.