Football Panthers defeat Pattonville 19-13 to advance to state championship game

Friday’s event to be rematch of 1999 championship game

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Championship teams find a way to win and the Mehlville Senior High football team did just that Friday night in defeating Pattonville 19-13.

“Semifinals are always big games and they’re always tough games to win,” Mehlville head coach Gary Heyde said. “We found a way to win and you have to do that in order to win games like that.”

The Panthers (10-2, 6-1 Suburban West) grabbed a 6-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter on an eight-yard run by running back Tyrone Clark.

Clark extended the Panthers’ lead to 12-0 after running back an interception from Pattonville quarterback Colin Hanna with 8:29 left in the second quarter.

“Tyrone played real well,” Heyde said. “He ran the ball well and played good defense. That interception he had was huge.”

Pattonville (7-5, 5-2 Suburban North) cut into Mehlville’s lead on a six-yard run by Evan Knight to bring the score to 13-7 with 5:28 left in the second quarter.

But Mehlville countered with a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Alexis Reedus with 2:46 left in the first half.

“Alexis scored on an option play where he eluded a couple of tacklers and went into the end zone,” Heyde said. “I thought he had a good night. He threw the ball well and had a pick on defense.”

The final touchdown of the evening came early in the third quarter when Knight scored on a 10-yard run to trim the Panthers’ lead to 19-13.

“You have to be disciplined on the running game and sometimes we weren’t,” Heyde said. “That’s the one thing that scares you about them (Pattonville).”

The Panthers’ win over Pattonville puts them in the Missouri Class 6 championship game against Rockhurst at 6 p.m. Friday in the Edward Jones Dome. The Hawkletes (12-0) slammed DeSmet Friday 67-7.

“Rockhurst always has an outstanding team with a lot of good players,” Heyde said. “We know what they’re going to bring to that game, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

Friday’s game will be a rematch of the 1999 Class 5 state championship when the Panthers defeated the Hawkletes 15-7.

Heyde believes that for the Panthers to be successful, they’re going to have to play solid, mistake-free defense.