De Smet dominates Mehlville 51-7

By ROBERT CHALUPNY

Even though the outcome of the game was moot as a win would have not propelled the Mehlville Senior High School football team into the playoffs, it would have been nice for the team, its graduating seniors and coach.

But the Panthers, led by head coach Eric Meyer in his fourth full season, couldn’t come up with a final victory against a dominant De Smet team as they fell 51-7 Friday night. Mehlville finished the season 4-6 after going 0-3 in district play in a very tough district with De Smet (8-2) SLUH (7-3) and Lindbergh (6-4).

Meyer told the Call the loss was unfortunate but praised his players for their effort.

“The kids worked hard. They played hard,” Meyer said. “De Smet is just a real good team and we just had a hard time stopping them.”

De Smet started the scoring early with a touchdown by its star receiver Durron Neal on a 67-yard pass play at 8:19 in the first quarter. Neal added a second at the 5:00 minute mark.

Mehlville answered that one with a dramatic 92-yard kickoff return by Mike Sulya at 4:46, keeping the Panthers in the game early. But David Randolph kicked a 31-yard field goal for the Spartans with 1:48 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, De Smet ran away with it, scoring 27 points on two more touchdowns from Neal and two from Jamie Placht.

Latif Adams added another touchdown for the Spartans in the third quarter as Mehlville quarterback Brendan Moore was unable to penetrate the De Smet defense. Moore, a sophomore, took over for starter Jeff White, who was injured in the Lindbergh game a week earlier.

Moore threw for four completions in 12 attempts for 38 yards against the De Smet defense.

Meyer told the Call in an interview after the Lindbergh contest that Moore definitely has a bright future with the team and praised him for what he showed in that game.

“He played great for a sophomore who hasn’t gotten any varsity time on the offense … He just came out and battled his butt off,” Meyer said.

While the Mehlville coach is looking forward to next year with the potential he saw from some of his younger players this season he also talked about how his senior players worked hard to achieve what they did over the last four years and that they should be proud.

“I think the seniors came in when they were freshman and they didn’t have a real good first year, but they just worked hard to get better and I’m proud of them that they worked hard,” he said.

“Not that we’re happy with 4-6, but, you know, they don’t have anything to be upset about. It was a pretty good schedule the last three games with three great teams. So I’m real proud of the way they worked and what they accomplished over the last four years,” he said.