As recently as one week ago, Mehlville Panthers Coach Gary Heyde said he wasn’t quite convinced his football team was ready to start the season.
Despite a lot of hard work and loads of talent, not everything was working out at practices, and a jamboree that was canceled thanks to rain didn’t help Mehlville in its preparation, either.
Now, after one game, at least some of those concerns have been put to rest thanks to the Panthers 27-14 win over the Parkway Central Colts Friday evening at Mehlville.
“Things went about as expected in the game,” Heyde said. “We knew we were not going to be real crisp, and with no jamboree we didn’t have any evaluation on Parkway Central, but considering everything we were glad to get the win.”
The Panthers got three of their touchdowns from Rickey Giles on runs of 12 and 24 yards and a 52-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ronald Roberts.
Their fourth touchdown came when Roberts threw a 54-yard touchdown to Darnell Trice. One of Giles’ runs — as well as both long touchdown passes — came in the second quarter to give the Panthers a 21-6 halftime lead. Mehlville had been trailing 6-0 after one quarter.
Shawn Scott paced Central with 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the night.
Mehlville will next face the Lindbergh Flyers, who are 1-0 on the year after their 28-6 win last weekend over the Parkway West Longhorns.
Last year, Mehlville beat Lindbergh in the regular season only to see its season come to an end at the hands of the Flyers in the state semifinals in a seesaw battle.
Heyde knows his team will need to be ready to go if it is going to handle Lindbergh this year. “If we can get on track in practice this week we should improve quite a bit,” he said. “And we will need to improve, because they are a good team.”
The Panthers and Flyers will play at 7 p.m. Friday at Lindbergh High.