Colts can’t hold early lead vs. Derby

The Colts’ Avonta Dixon breaks through the Derby offensive line for a tackle for loss during Friday’s first half.

By Travis Mounts

The Campus Colts were able to battle well early at home last Friday, but eventually lost to visiting Derby 48-13.
“We got a defensive stop and that gave us some confidence,” said Campus head coach Jamie Cruce.
After a Derby punt, Campus put together a nice drive to set up first-and-goal at the Panthers’ 10-yard line. The drive stalled, and the Colts settled for a 29-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers flexed their muscles on the following drive, going 65 yards on just four plays. They scored just over a minute after the Colts for a 7-3 lead.
There was confusion on the ensuing kick as the Panthers thought they recovered a pooch kickoff, and then a Derby unsportsmanlike penalty – part of a chippy game early – put the Colts on the Derby 30. A pass from Braelyn Jay to Tate Rico put the Colts on the Derby 4, but Campus was whistled for an unsportsmanlike penalty. That forced Cmapus to settle for a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
That’s when the Panthers started to click. They scored on a 64-yard touchdown on the first play of the next drive, and scored two more times to make it 28-6 at halftime. Another 20 points went on the board before Campus added a late score in the fourth quarter.
Head coach Jamie Cruce said the Panthers are obviously talented, but that the Colts did things to hurt themselves.
“To be honest, we started trying to do too much on defense. Guys started abandoning their responsibilities. Derby’s speed will force you to do some bad things. And a few times we just got out-run,” Cruce said. “I felt like we played well in terms of not getting down. The stage wasn’t too big for them. They didn’t play like they were scared, and that’s a good thing. They battled all the way through.”
Any Colts’ fan knows that successful seasons have been few and far between at Campus. While the scoreboard may not show it, this year’s football team is markedly better, Cruce said. They lack the depth of other teams, and are not able to fully platoon as schools like Derby and Hutchinson do. The offensive line has been among the most-improved units.
The biggest thing, however, was just getting to play last Friday. Campus and Derby had missed the previous two weeks of the season due to COVID and related quarantines.
“This is about giving kids an opportunity to compete and be in a positive atmosphere. It was great to have the kids back out there on game night and show what they can do,” Cruce said.
Campus goes to Hutchinson this week.