The Gardner-Edgerton Trailblazers took on the Derby Panthers in the Kansas Class 6 State Championship game. Gardner-Edgerton looked to get their first State Championship in school history, while Derby won as recently as 2020. Both teams would have to face the elements, 30 minutes before kick-off you could still see the field, but that would be the last time all day as snow continued to fall for the entirety of the game. In the end it was the Trailblazers who outlasted the Panthers and the elements in a 22-19 win.
Derby would get the ball first and quickly move it downfield with a big run from Senior RB Derek Hubbard. However, much like they have done all year the Gardner-Edgerton Defense was able to get a stop, as Derby failed to get the first down after going for it on 4th down.
Ball security in a snow game can be a challenge. Gardner-Edgerton would give the ball right back to Derby after a fumble, giving the Panthers good field position. Power 5 TE recruit Dasaahn Brame would put Derby on the board first as he took an end around 18 yards for the score. With 8:23 left in the 1st, Derby would lead 7-0.
Both teams would trade punts back and forth as the snow was starting to become a factor for the Offenses. Derby Quarterback Braxton Clark would find Brame for a big gain all the way down to the 7-yard line. Hubbard was able to punch it in from there, the extra point would be blocked but Derby would lead 13-0 with 5:37 left in the half.
Gardner-Edgerton would put together a drive. Runs by Senior QB Bravin Powell and Fullback Dylan Butash set up the Trailblazers on the 5-yard line. Powell would punch it in and cut into Derby’s lead, making it 13-7 at halftime.
Most of the 3rd quarter would be long drives that would stall out and end in punts, until Trailblazers QB Bravin Powell would find Colton Hawkinson for a 65-yard pass and touchdown, giving Gardner-Edgerton a 14-13 lead with 1:53 to go in the quarter.
The Trailblazers defense would again force the Panthers to punt. After almost blocking a punt earlier in the game, Gardner-Edgerton was able to get to this one, setting them up with nice field position.
At the start of the 4th quarter Powell would get loose and run for a 27-yard touchdown. Gardner-Edgerton would elect to go for the 2 points and be successful, giving them a 22-13 lead with 11:53 left in the game.
Derby would come fighting back and put a nice drive together, that would end with a 4-yard touchdown run by Hubbard. The Panthers would be stopped on the 2 point try, making the score 22-19 in favor of Gardner-Edgerton, with 9:12 left in the game.
Both teams would end up trading punts back and forth. Gardner-Edgerton would get possession with 5:12 left. The Trailblazers did what they do best, run the ball, get first downs and control the clock. Derby would use all their timeouts and try to stop Gardner-Edgerton from running out the clock but were unable to do so.