Mehlville falters against Eureka Wildcats


The Mehlville High School Panthers’ strong first half went to waste quickly after halftime in Friday night’s 41-14 road loss to the Eureka High School Wildcats (2-0).

A kickoff return for a touchdown was followed by a fumble recovery by the Wildcats on the ensuing kickoff, and in a flash, Eureka led 24-7.

“It got away. We got it back down to 17, but then they ended up scoring more,” Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer said.

Mehlville’s devastating fumble on the kickoff was one of four Panther turnovers.

After Panthers senior quarterback Zach Hayes connected with junior Mike Sulya on a touchdown pass, the Panthers trailed 10-7 with six minutes and 22 seconds left in the first half.

“We threw the ball fairly well tonight. We can do better, and we have a lot of work to do,” the Mehlville coach said. “We were able to complete some passes, but we were beat up front.”

Eureka’s first score of the second half hurt the Panthers, now 1-1, but the three touchdowns that followed in the third quarter buried them.

“We have to do a better job on defense with tackling. We didn’t do a very good job tonight,” Meyer said.

The Panthers watched Eureka run for three touchdowns and 322 yards. Eureka gained 178 more through the air for a total of 500 yards of offense.

Sophomore Chase Brown scored his second touchdown of the season on a 17-yard run with 4:41 left in the third quarter that made the score 31-14 after junior Brandon Zufall’s extra-point kick.

“A loss is not fun, but we found out that we played a real physical team and our kids didn’t back down,” Meyer said. “They showed a lot of heart. I know that our kids will come back next week, and have a good week of practice. We’ll be prepared to play Lafayette.”

Mehlville will try to keep Lafayette winless at 7 p.m. Friday at home. The Panthers have lost to the Lancers in the teams’ last two meetings.