Football Panthers capture second straight win

Mehlville defeats Marquette 37-13

By Robert Chalupny

After starting the 2013 season 0-3, the Mehlville Senior High School varsity football squad captured its second consecutive win with a 37-13 victory over Marquette Friday night.

The victory was a triumph for the Panthers’ defense, according to head coach Kent Heinemann.

“Our defense played unbelievable. That was kind of a game that we knew our defense could play all year and it kind of just came together. They played unbelievable,” Heinemann told the Call.

On the flip side of the ball, the Panthers didn’t make anything happen in the first quarter, but scored four times in the second quarter to open up the field.

“Marquette stopped us a lot early offensively. We struggled really to do a whole lot there, but in the end, we put the ball in when we needed to and grinded the clock when we needed to, so it was a nice team victory,” he said.

Scoring for the Panthers in the second were quarterback Brendan Moore, Matt Mik with an interception and Mike Mik with two touchdowns.

Mat Mik would add another and Austin Massey kicked a field goal in the third quarter.

After the slow start to the season, winning two football games in a row is one way to silence some critics, but not all of them.

The Panthers have faced losing seasons since longtime coach Gary Heyde retired in 2008.

Heinemann is in his first season at the helm and told the Call he believes all the pieces are starting to fit together.

“I think we’ve kind of learned what not to do and kind of what we need to do,” he said about the first half of the season. “We started off pretty slow and we weren’t working as hard as we could have and I think the kids are realizing that.

“And not to say that they haven’t fought in every game — that’s the one thing we’ve encountered is that they have really played hard in every game and now they are playing hard and executing.”

Just like in life, work ethic, determination and skill do not always equal victory. One element that is missing from the equation in that sequence is confidence, which the Panthers are beginning to realize, according to Heinemann.

“I think our team has lacked some confidence and, obviously, when you win two in a row, you start to get a little momentum,” he said.

The Panthers will try to go for three in a row when they host 3-2 Parkway South at 7 p.m. Friday.

Heinemann said his players will be ready for the contest.

“I’ve seen a little bit of South. They’re a good football team,” he said. “We’ll have a good week of practice and get a good game plan together.”