Saturday, February 22, 2020
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24 victories over 721 days, but then …

A 24-game winning streak in football, spanning three seasons, ended Friday in Kansas, as the Lions of Goddard High School defeated the Derby Panthers at home, 50-20, the Wichita Eagle reports.

The Derby Panthers won the state’s Class 6A title for the last two years, and the team was top-ranked going into the contest. But their offense failed to put any points on the board until 10:08 remained in the first half and junior quarterback Hunter Igo threw to senior Jack Taylor for a 56-yard touchdown, the Panther’s Tale, the student newspaper at Derby, reports.

But that only made the score 22-6, and Derby would never catch up.

Goddard’s senior quarterback Blake Sullivan led his team—and a rambunctious home crowd—in what was essentially a clinic for the Panthers. It was not only the first loss for Derby in 24 games but also the first time in the last seven years any team had beaten the Panthers by more than a touchdown. (The Panthers lost a game, 70-31, all the way back in 2010.)

“We wanted this game so bad,” the Eagle quoted Sullivan as saying. He scored six touchdowns himself against the Panthers, gaining more than 400 total yards all on his own. “We wanted to stick it to them. They’re No 1 for a reason, but we knew if we played physical and started out strong then we would win this game.”

Derby’s coach recognized the need to play a more physical game. “It’s not that we can’t do it right now, but it’s about confidence and them believing in themselves,” the paper quoted coach Brandon Clark as saying. “You’ve got to believe in yourself before you can play fast and right now we’re searching for that belief.”

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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