On paper, the first-round district football game between Mehlville and Christian Brothers College was going to be quite a competition.
Mehlville came into the game playing outstanding football with a record of 6-1, while CBC also came in strong and sporting a record of 5-2.
So much for playing the games on paper.
Led by Tommy Gayfield’s 81 yards rushing and three touchdowns, Mehlville blew past CBC 35-7 to get off to a quick start in district play.
The Panthers, who jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead, led 35-0 until CBC scored with less than a minute left in the game.
Mehlville Coach Gary Heyde is pleased with how the team is playing, and was impressed with how the Panthers were able to dominate a quality team from CBC.
“They’re a good team and played hard the whole time,” Heyde told the Call. “We expected a real battle, but it feels good to have that kind of game. It shows we are still getting better.”
Mehlville continues to improve, and at this point is a leading candidate to represent St. Louis in the Class 6 Show-Me-Bowl. It seems everything — on both offense and defense — is going the Panthers’ way as the season winds down.
“We played outstanding defense against CBC. It was really impressive,” said Heyde, who also was complimentary of his running back tandem of Gayfield and Rickey Giles. “With the running game, we feel like Tommy and Rickey are both really good backs. When we send in plays, we don’t think that one or the other needs to get the ball. It really doesn’t matter.”
Against CBC, Giles complemented the effort put forth by Gayfield quite nicely, scoring a touchdown and running for 64 yards. Giles also had a 20-yard reception, and Darnell Trice led all Panthers with 63 yards receiving.
Quarterback Ronald Roberts, meanwhile, also played a nice game for the 7-1 Panthers, completing five of his eight pass attempts for 100 yards.
Heyde was appreciative of his quarterback.
“Ronald was very efficient,” he said. “He didn’t throw much, but completed some big passes on some big downs. He hit them when he needed to.”
The Panthers now turn their attention to Roosevelt, which is 1-7 on the year, but is showing improvement as of late.
The Rough Riders started the year 0-5, and then knocked off Soldan and led in their game last week against St. Louis Un-iversity High School for a good part of the contest. It was not until there were just seconds remaining in the third quarter before SLUH (6-2) finally moved ahead of Roosevelt, eventually coming away with the 24-14 win.
Heyde is confident the Panthers will be ready to go.
“Roosevelt will have some athletes —some people to contend with,” he noted. “They may be getting better.”
Mehlville, now 1-0 in district play, will take on Roosevelt (0-1 in the district) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Mehlville Senior High School, 3200 Lemay Ferry Road.