The Colby Eagles defense has been the standout unit in the team’s unbeaten start to their season, and on Friday night in Lindsborg, they turned in their best performance yet. They held the Smoky Valley Vikings scoreless in an 18-0 victory at Anderson Stadium to win their district opener and improve to 4-0 overall.
Colby forced a pair of second half turnovers and limited the Vikings to just 168 total yards, with only 30 of them coming in the second half. They have yet to allow any points in the first half this season, and they turned a fumble recovery and a Smoky Valley special teams gaffe into the two touchdown drives that gave them breathing room in the third quarter.
The Eagles struck first on their second drive of the night on Collin Carroll’s first rushing touchdown of the season, a 12-yard burst that put them in front 6-0 with 5:27 left in the first quarter. Though the Colby offense squandered a red-zone opportunity in the second quarter, they maintained that 6-0 lead into the half thanks to forcing a pair of turnovers on downs.
Smoky Valley had the ball to start the second half but promptly went three and out and a mishap on the punt gifted Colby the ball at the Vikings 19 yard line. They took advantage to double their lead, with Zane Betz racing 25 yards for his first career touchdown with 9:33 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing Smoky Valley drive, the Vikings appeared to have picked up a fourth-down conversion but Kade Blanchet fumbled at the end of his run and Ryan Myers scooped up the loose ball at the Colby 39 yard line. The Eagles marched 61 yards in seven plays in response, with Hagan Booi’s 16-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-one giving Colby the 18-0 lead that would hold for the rest of the game.
Colby joins Scott City and Southeast of Saline as the 3A District 6 teams with victories in their district openers. They host Southeast of Saline next Friday night at Dennen Field at 7 pm.
Hear the postgame comments from head coach Rees McKinney:
And check out the game’s highlight plays: