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Newton falls behind quickly in 55-7 blowout loss to Derby
At 3-5, the Railers will turn their attention to playoff action.
WICHITA — The unique venue and evening sky over the Air Capital were about as nice as things got for Newton (3-5) at Riverfront Stadium, home of the minor league Wichita Wind Surge baseball team, on Friday night.
From kickoff to the final seconds of the running clock that was in effect for the entire second half, Derby (7-1) had its way with a battered Railers team that has seen key contributors fall victim to injury at an astounding rate over the past month.
55-7 was the final score, Newton’s 22nd consecutive loss to the Panthers.
“We played a good football team,” Railers head coach Greg Slade said. “They played well tonight. We were a little limited on offense. We’ll be ready to go next week — we’ll have to see what we can do.”
Derby received the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards in the blink of an eye to take a 7-0 lead courtesy of a 30-yard run by quarterback Easton Splane. After a Newton three-and-out, the lead grew to 14 when running back Derek Hubbard ran 15 yards to paydirt.
On the ensuing drive, the Railers found a bit more headway offensively, but eventually fell short on 4th & 1, which the Panthers parlayed into a 47-yard scoring hookup from Splane to four-star tight end Da’Saahn Brame.
By the time just nine seconds had ticked off the clock in the second quarter, Derby led 28-0. By halftime, it was 49-0. All things considered, Newton simply looked like a team handicapped by poor health and the 30-20 upset loss at home against Haysville-Campus the week prior weighing on its psyche.
This was most notable in the absence of the downhill running scheme anchored by quarterback Colby Gomez that Newton fans have grown accustomed to seeing on a weekly basis. Slade confirmed after the game that Gomez is dealing with what can be interpreted as a relatively serious injury.
“He’s had a great year for us,” Slade said of Gomez. “He was questionable this week. We didn’t know whether he was gonna play [against Derby] until Wednesday — Thursday for sure.”
The senior signal-caller finished the game out until the clock hit all zeroes after an expedited third and fourth quarters. With the result, the Railers — who tallied just 127 yards of offense to 455 for the Panthers — slipped to the 14th seed in 5A-West behind Maize and Wichita West on point differential. It’s the second 3-5 regular season for Newton in as many years under Slade.
With the win, Derby clinched the third seed in 6A-West behind Washburn Rural and Manhattan. Three Panthers rushers tallied at least 72 yards and a touchdown each. Keon Edwards led Newton with 41 yards on six carries.
Full offensive statistics:
Looking ahead: Newton will travel to third-seeded Liberal for the first round of the KSHSAA 5A-West playoffs. The Redskins are 7-1 and defeated Ulysses 57-37 on Friday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Redskin Field.