Mehlville Panthers defeat Fox Warriors 35-7, will face undefeated Oakville Friday night

Mehlville looking to avenge last season’s loss to Oakville

By STEPHEN GLOVER

After losing three of its first five games of the season, the Mehlville Senior High School football team has put together a three-game winning streak that includes Friday night’s 35-7 win at Fox.

The win for the Panthers (5-3, 4-0 Suburban West) puts them one step closer to a District 1 championship and a berth into the Missouri Class 6 playoffs.

“We wanted to get districts started off right,” Mehlville head coach Gary Heyde told the Call. “We know, though, that the big match-up is against Oakville.”

The Panthers got their offense rolling right away in the first quarter when running back Joel Fieseler scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 9:35 left in the quarter. The junior running back carried the ball 12 times for 70 yards and three touchdowns.

“Joel gets a lot of our yardage in between the tackles,” Heyde explained. “He’s a hard runner and is really good down at the goal line.”

Fieseler scored again for the Panthers with 6:04 left in the first quarter on a three-yard touchdown run, which gave Mehlville a commanding 14-0 lead following Glenn Grimm’s point-after touchdown.

Mehlville extended its lead to 21-0 when Fieseler scored on a seven-yard touchdown run with 10:14 left in the first half. The senior running back has a team-leading four touchdowns and 374 yards rushing.

Mehlville’s lead increased to 28-0 when Tyrone Clark scored on a four-yard touchdown run with 6:29 left in the first half. The touchdown by the sophomore running back was his second of the season.

“We tried putting him in on a couple of plays that night,” Heyde said. “We ran a counter play and he went in pretty easily.”

The Mehlville offense finally scored from the air early in the third quarter when senior quarterback Kevin Mahler connected with senior tight end Anthony Abbate on an 11-yard touchdown pass with 11:06 left in the quarter.

“Anthony’s been doing a good job at blocking this season,” Heyde said. “He’s our starting tight end, and I think that might have been his first catch of the year.”

The Fox Warriors finally got onto the scoreboard late in the fourth quarter when Scott Gray scored on a four-yard touchdown run with 1:26 left in the game.

Zack Cook led Mehlville’s defense with seven tackles and four assists. The senior linebacker leads the Panthers with 58 tackles and 27 assists.

“Zack’s been doing a great job at linebacker all year long,” Heyde said. “He’s kind of been the leader of that defense.”

The Panthers are back on the field at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Oakville (8-0, 5-0 Suburban West) in what could be the District 1 championship game. Mehl-ville is looking to avenge last year’s 17-16 loss to the Tigers, who knocked the Panthers out of playoff contention.

“This is going to be for the district championship and the state playoffs,” Heyde said. “Oakville’s got some talent and they don’t make many mistakes. So we’re going to have to be sharp for next Friday.”