Tommy Gayfield carried the ball 14 times for 140 yards and four touchdowns, helping to lead the Mehlville Senior High School Panthers to an impressive 62-33 district football win over Roosevelt Friday night.
The victory improved Mehlville’s overall record to 8-1. Now 2-0 in the district, Mehlville can clinch a playoff berth next weekend with a win over St. Louis Uni-versity High School.
A tie-break scenario exists in which Mehlville still could advance to the Class 6 quarterfinals even with a loss to SLUH, but Panthers Coach Gary Heyde would prefer to do it the easy way by going out and de-feating the Junior Bills, who lost last weekend to Christian Brothers College, 41-10.
Heyde believes that the Junior Billikens are better than that score might indicate.
“SLUH does some things well and is well coached,” Heyde said. “But if we go in and play our game we should be all right. We’d like to play like we did against CBC.”
When asked about the lopsided Roose-velt game, Heyde was quick to note that his team had no intentions of running it up at all, but also was aware the Panthers wanted to keep the margin at more than 13 points for the playoff tiebreaker system.
The Panthers scored 55 of their 62 points in the first half.
“We played a pretty good first half and took out a lot of the guys in the second half,” Heyde said. “But I wish I would have kept the starters in for one series of the second half. As it happened, Roosevelt was able to do some things on our second team and we had to put the starters back in to keep the game from getting close.”
Roosevelt (1-8) had no answer for the Mehlville starting offense, which was able to put up 35 points in the first quarter en route to a 55-13 halftime lead. Aside from Gayfield’s touchdown runs of 11, 1, 12 and 40 yards, Rickey Giles also picked up over 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Darnell Trice added a 52-yard touchdown reception, one of his three catches on the day. In all, Trice had 109 yards receiving.
Heyde said that the Mehlville offense didn’t run a lot of different plays, but just had success in what it was doing with Gayfield and Giles.
“We just kept running sweeps over and over,” he said. “We were able to do some damage.”
The Panthers’ final district game against SLUH will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. If the Panthers win, they’re in. Should they lose, there is a good chance that CBC would sneak in.
The specific scenario is as follows: Roosevelt cannot advance. CBC can advance if it defeats Roosevelt and SLUH knocks off Mehlville — the margin in those games adding up to a combined 13 points or more. SLUH can advance if it defeats the Panthers and Roosevelt posts a win over CBC.
Mehlville and SLUH will play at Mehlville Senior High School, 3200 Lemay Ferry Road.