Salina Central Overwhelmed by Derby in Home Opener

A huge crowd gathered at Salina Stadium on Friday night, with anticipation building for the inaugural Central Sports Hall of Fame induction and a look at the home town Mustangs going up against top-ranked and defending 6A state champion Derby. The Mustang faithful to their credit stuck around from start to finish despite a tough night for Central as they fell to the Panthers, 49-0.

Derby took the opening kickoff and a good return set them up at midfield. They needed only four plays to strike as Panther quarterback Grant Adler found wideout Jacob Karsak for a 33-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Derby lead less than two minutes in.

After a quick Mustang three-and-out, the Panthers struck again as Adler hit Cavion Walker for a 66-yard TD to make it 14-0. Talented running back Tre Washington then got in on the act with a 35-yard touchdown run and Derby increased the lead to three scores.

While the Mustangs (0-2) found it difficult to move the ball, the Panthers (2-0) were relentless.  Washington added touchdown runs of 15 and 11 yards and caught a 23-yard screen pass for a touchdown with three seconds left in the first half. Derby cruised into the break with a 42-0 lead.

At halftime, members of the 1982-83 state championship basketball team along with former Mustang stars Shanele Stires, Brian Hill, Jake Sharp, Terence Newman and former football coach Marvin Diener were honored as part of the first-ever Mustang Sports Hall of Fame Class.

The second half featured Mustang backup QB Parker Kavanagh, younger brother of starter Jackson, taking all of the snaps. Parker came in for the final two offensive possessions of the first half after Jackson suffered an injury while being sacked. Jackson had his helmet on and jogged along the sideline but the Mustangs played it safe and kept him out of the game with the lopsided score.

Derby would add one more touchdown in the third quarter, a 22-yard pass from Adler to Aaron Larson to put the finishing touches on the scoring.

Jackson Kavanagh threw for 74 yards before coming out the game. That included a 41-yard completion to Logan Heigele. Parker Kavanagh threw for 62 yards. Once again, the Mustangs could not establish a rushing attack, finishin in the red with -8 yards on the ground.

The Panthers outgained the Mustangs 517-128. Adler threw for 319 yards and four TDs. Washington rushed for 136 yards on 14 carries.

Next week at Salina Stadium will pair crosstown rivals Central and South against one another, each looking for their first win of 2019.