Football Panthers roll over Lafayette

By Jeff Stalhut

Thanks in part to outstanding games from tailback Tommy Gayfield, quarterback Ronald Roberts and wide receiver Darnell Trice, the Mehlville Panthers rolled over the previously unbeaten Lafayette Lancers 35-20 last Saturday evening in a Suburban West Conference football matchup. Trice, who had been out of the lineup since the first quarter of the Lindbergh game in week two, had an especially big impact.

“He’s a real weapon,” Panthers coach Gary Heyde said. “It’s obviously pretty important for us to have him in the lineup. Not only on offense, but he might be our best defensive player, too.”

Trice was a major factor in the Mehlville win over Lafayette, hauling in touchdown catches of 85 and 47 yards while racking up 172 yards on just four receptions.

Heyde knew the Panthers would need to tap into their aerial attack to succeed.

“We felt like there were some things we wanted to do in the passing game,” Heyde told the Call. “We have great offensive potential, but we made a lot of mental mistakes and still won the game. What if we played better football with fewer mistakes?”

The question Heyde asks is a scary one. If the Panthers do get rolling and play sound football, their offense could be more potent than it already is.

In addition to the numbers put up by Trice, Roberts was also solid with a three-yard touchdown run, three touchdown passes and 241 yards passing. On the negative side — contributing to the bevy of mistakes Heyde noted — he did throw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Tommy Gayfield had a 48-yard touchdown run to go with his 102 yards rushing, and Mehlville cruised despite two red-zone fumbles and 14 penalties in the game.

Heyde hopes the Panthers play better against the 3-1 Marquette Mustangs.

The game between Mehlville and Mar-quette is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Marquette High School, 2351 Clarkson Road.