The Lindbergh High School varsity football team picked up its second consecutive win Friday night, knocking off neighboring rival, the Mehlville Panthers, 24-17.
Doing the little things was key for the 3-3 Flyers in this highly contested battle between two teams that have struggled this season, according to Lindbergh head coach Nathan Norman.
“The kids played extremely hard and they competed, and that’s what we like to see most of all,” he told the Call. “I think we did a nice job of taking care of the football. We minimized our turnovers and we were able to run the ball effectively, just enough to keep the ball out of Mehlville’s hands as well.
“Then we were able to make some critical third-down completions and be just enough effective with the passing game. We kept them off guard so that was the key.”
Panthers head coach Kent Heinemann told the Call his players fought hard in the game, which featured some bright spots.
But it came down to the last drive of the game when the Panthers got the ball on an interception with a minute to play, but couldn’t squeeze out a 4th-and-1 conversion for a first down to keep themselves alive.
“We had a hard time with their tailback. We couldn’t get much going with the running or the passing game, either, but they fought hard. Lindbergh is a pretty good team,” Heinemann said.
For Lindbergh players, picking up two wins in a row is huge for building their confidence as they started the season with a narrow victory over Oakville and then lost the next three before they took out Seckman a week earlier.
“It’s good for the program,” Norman said. “They are starting to see some rewards for what we’ve been preaching as coaches, and that’s hard to continue if you don’t get to experience some success. So these two wins back to back are huge for their confidence, for their attitude and I think that will pave the way for the remainder of the season.”
Lindbergh has seen some adversity throughout the first half of the season, but Norman believes his team is on the right track.
“We took some major hits to injury about week three, and it seemed like our spirits were down just a little bit. It seems that since that time our kids have really stepped it up …,” he said. “They’ve just gotten better across the board. That’s what we ask from them every week, and as long as they continue to do that, we’ll be fine.”
Up next for Lindbergh is a Saturday game on the road against 5-1 Ritenour, and the Flyers will have to be ready if they want to continue their winning streak.
“They are very athletic, and we’ll definitely have our work cut out for us,” Norman said. “They have big-play capabilities, so we will have to tackle well and we’ll have to take away their space. We’ll actually have to play keep away and keep the ball out of their hands.”
Mehlville, 1-5 on the season, will square off against 4-2 Marquette at 7 p.m. Friday at home, 3200 Lemay Ferry Road.
Oakville, 0-6 this year, is set to tackle 4-2 Parkway South Saturday on the road.