Football Panthers fall to Northwest 17-6 Friday night; Mehlville now 0-3 for season

By STEPHEN GLOVER

It’s been some time since the Mehlville Senior High School football team had to endure a losing streak, but Friday night’s 17-6 loss at home to Northwest marked the Panthers’ third straight loss to start the 2009 campaign.

In fact, the loss to Northwest marks the first three-game losing streak for the Panthers since the 2005 season when Mehlville opened the year 0-7, before posting wins over Fox and Northwest to finish the season with a 2-8 record.

Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer noted the battle on the offensive line essentially made the difference in the loss to Northwest.

“Northwest was physical up front and that really limited us in what we were able to do,” Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer said. “We kind of stalled out offensively and you’ve got to give Northwest credit because they played well. But I have to say that our kids gave us everything they had.”

Both Mehlville and Northwest were scoreless after one quarter, but the Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead with 10:28 left in the second quarter when running back Justin Talley scored on a nine-yard run.

Talley carried the ball 10 times for 19 yards rushing in the loss.

“We had some good runs, but we also had a lot of minus runs,” Meyer said. “What we need to do in order to win games is do a better job blocking up front.”

Northwest trimmed the Panthers’ lead to 6-3 when James Bufka hit a 22-yard field goal with 1:38 remaining in the second quarter.

The Lions took a 10-6 lead when George Willis scored on a six-yard touchdown run with 9:05 left in the third quarter. Willis carried the ball 22 times for 84 yards rushing.

Northwest extended its lead to 17-6 when Scotty Smith scored on a 19-yard run with 7:33 remaining in the game.

Smith racked up five carries for 35 yards against the Panthers’ defense.

The Panthers will return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Parkway South.

The Patriots (2-1, 1-0 Suburban West) are coming off a solid 13-0 win over Kirkwood Friday night when they racked up 236 yards rushing against the Pioneers.

Parkway South running back Gerard Graves carried the ball 23 times for 100 yards rushing.

“Parkway South played well against Kirkwood and they have some good running backs,” Meyer said. “It’s going to be one heck of a challenge for us.”