Mehlville defeats Lindbergh 16-13

By STEPHEN GLOVER

In a battle of Suburban West Conference football heavyweights Friday night, Mehlville’s Christian Stewart scored on a seven-yard run with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a 16-13 win over Lindbergh in Class 6, District 2 playoff action.

“Lindbergh’s a good team that’s playing really well right now,” Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer said. “We relied heavily on our defense in that game and they came through for us.”

The win for Mehlville (6-2, 6-1 Suburban West) vaults the Panthers to the top of the District 2 standings in a tie with St. Louis University High, which defeated Ritenour 27-26 in overtime Friday.

But the loss doesn’t seal the Flyers’ fate with two teams advancing out of each district this season. The Flyers need to defeat Ritenour and SLUH to have any chance of advancing.

“In the first half, we played poorly and in the second half we came out and they did what I asked of them at halftime,” Lindbergh head coach Tom Beauchamp said. “It all came down to one or two plays and I was really proud of the team as a group.”

Mehlville took a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Aaron Alexander kicked a 37-yard field goal. The field goal was Alexander’s fourth of the season.

“Aaron had a real good game last week against Marquette,” Meyer said. “But I think that his punt late in the game stuck them back a bit and turned out to be a real big play for us.”

The Panthers added to their lead when Stewart grinded in a three-yard run with 2:35 left in the first quarter. He recorded eight carries for 34 yards.

“Christian ran hard. We didn’t have much of a running game, but when we needed to, he really came through for us,” Meyer said.

After a scoreless second quarter, Lindbergh trimmed Mehlville’s lead to 9-6 when quarterback Kyle Portell connected with Mike Heumann for a 17-yard pass with 4:15 left in the third quarter.

“Mike ran a real nice route and split two defenders to get his hands on the ball,” Beauchamp said. “It was a beautiful play to be honest.”

The Flyers scored again in the fourth quarter when Portell hit Bryan Livingston for a 17-yard pass.

“We were at the goal line and Portell turned around and hit Bryan with no one else near him,” Beauchamp said. “It was a gorgeous setup.”

Portell completed 12 of 29 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

“Kyle played like he’s capable of playing,” Beauchamp said. “He had two touchdowns called back, so you can’t complain at all about his play. Some things are just out of our powers.”

But Mehlville spoiled the Flyers’ potential win with the seven-yard touchdown run by Stewart with 4:32 left in the fourth quarter.

“We pitched it to Christian and he got some good blocking on the edge,” Meyer said. “He got really good blocking up front and on the edge.”

The Panthers return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they travel to SLUH for a meeting with the Junior Billikens.

The Flyers look to rebound from their loss to Mehlville when they play host to Ritenour at 7 p.m. Friday.