What started as a shootout turned into a first-half blow out in the Kansas Class 6A West semifinals. Lawrence traveled to Derby and looked up to the task of beating the two-time defending champions but were run over 62-28.
The win moves the Panthers into the Class 6A title game for the third straight year where they will face Blue Valley Northwest that is in the championship game for the first time.
The Panthers struck first on a 37-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage. The Lions answered with a two play drive of its own ending in a Shance Wilkerson TD run to tie it at 7 with 10 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
Lawrence would get a stop and score from Truman Juelsgaard to take a 14-7 lead with 3:24 in the first. That would be the high point of the first half as Derby would score two more times before the end of the quarter and add three more touchdowns in the second to take a 41-14 lead.
The Panthers big lead was sparked by star running back Dylan Edwards who had 196 yards and three touchdowns.
The second half started well for the Lions as the got a quick drive capped off by a 37-yard TD run by Avion Nelson with 10:19 left in the third quarter. Derby would then score 21 straight to take a 62-21 lead with 7:34 left in the game.
Lawrence finishes the season 9-3 under first-year coach Clint Bowen.