Frustrating season ends for football Panthers

By STEPHEN GLOVER

A season that started in frustration ended in disappointment Friday night when the Mehlville Senior High School football team fell 42-20 at Ritenour in the final game of the Missouri Class 6, District 2 playoffs.

“It’s unfortunate for our seniors,” Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer said. “It was a tough year and now we’ve got to sit back and figure out what went wrong and what you have to do in order to get better.”

The Huskies (2-8, 1-6 Suburban North) jumped out to a 6-0 lead when Derrion Quinn scored on a 62-yard run with 9:02 left in the first quarter. Quinn then completed a two-point conversion pass to A.J. Shipp to give the Huskies an 8-0 lead.

Quinn connected with Damon Dalton for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 2:43 left in the quarter. The two-point conversion pass from Quinn to Tharon Baily gave the Huskies a commanding 16-0 lead.

“One of our biggest problems was that we couldn’t stop their big plays from happening,” Meyer said. “We had some nice stops, but their quarterback did a really nice job running the ball.”

Mehlville trimmed Ritenour’s lead to 16-6 when quarterback Zach Hayes hit Semkan Plavulj for a 30-yard pass with 10:52 left in the second quarter.

Demond Harris scored on the two-point conversion, reducing the Huskies’ lead to 16-8. Hayes completed five of 12 passes for 102 yards and one touchdown.

“You go into games like this thinking that you can’t throw the ball in those conditions,” Meyer said. “I thought Zach threw the ball really well and that kept Ritenour from stacking the box against us.”

Quinn again attacked the Panther defense from the air when he hit Dominic Carr for a 48-yard pass with 5:29 left in the second quarter to give Ritenour a 22-8 lead. The Huskies upped the score to 30-8 when Shipp scored on a 21-yard run with 29 seconds left in the first half.

Ritenour continued its ground assault when Quinn burned the Mehlville defense for a 76-yard touchdown run with 10:56 remaining in the third quarter to give the Huskies a 36-8 lead.

Harris scored his second touchdown of the night on a 13-yard run with 36 seconds left in the third quarter, trimming Ritenour’s lead to 36-14. Shipp scored his second touchdown of the night on a 6-yard run with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter to give Ritenour a 42-14 advantage.

Mehlville’s final touchdown came with 3:55 left in the fourth quarter when Harris scored on a one-yard run to bring the score to 42-20. Harris carried the ball 24 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

“Demond had a couple big runs that were called back due to penalties,” Meyer said. “He’s the type of player that just battles for us. He went out there and attacked them on every play.”