Mehlville Panthers fall to Lafayette 42-14

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Although the Mehlville Senior High School football team suffered a disappointing 42-14 loss to Lafayette Friday night at home, the Panthers took several positive steps in their quest for their first win of the season.

Mehlville (0-6, 0-5 Suburban West) trailed Lafayette 21-14 early in the fourth quarter, which was a positive note to build on for Panther head coach Eric Meyer.

“I really think we took a good step in the right direction Friday night,” Meyer said. “We were down 21-14 in the fourth quarter, but the wheels kind of fell off at the end of the game. I thought we were being aggressive at times and doing the right things to win the game.”

Lafayette (4-2, 2-2 Suburban West) took a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter when quarterback J.T. Miller hit Tyrone Stain-back on a six-yard touchdown pass.

The Panthers fought back to tie the score at 7-7 in the first quarter on a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zach Hayes to tight end Tyler Kidwell.

“We ran a bootleg and they (Lafayette) put a lot of pressure on us,” Meyer said. “Tyler made a real nice catch in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.”

Kidwell racked up two catches for nine yards.

“Tyler’s one of our tight ends and we don’t usually get a lot of passes to them,” Meyer said. “But he did a lot of good things for us Friday night.”

Lafayette took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter when Miller connected with Nate Perry on a 15-yard pass.

The Lancers extended their lead to 21-7 late in the second quarter on a two-yard run by Thomas Swoboda.

But after a scoreless third quarter, the Panthers fought back with a one-yard touchdown run by Hayes to trim Lafayette’s lead to 21-14. Hayes carried the ball six times for seven yards while also completing 7 of 18 passes for 90 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

“Zach’s numbers may not be as good as he likes, but he did a lot of good things Friday night,” Meyer said. “He’s a kid that goes out and puts a great effort into every game.”

Lafayette extended its lead to 28-14 in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard pass from Miller to William Dupont. The Lancers then burned Mehlville’s defense on a 54-yard touchdown run by Kyle Green for a 35-14 lead. But the final blow to the Panthers came late in the fourth quarter when Al Nesbitt scored on a 15-yard interception for a touchdown, giving Lafayette the 42-14 win.

The Panthers return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to Marquette (1-5, 1-3 Suburban West), which suffered a 34-21 loss at home last Friday to Lindbergh when the Flyers racked up 228 yards rushing.

“Marquette likes to spread it out a bit, so you really have to cover them,” Meyer said. “Their special teams really get after it and they always seem to run a couple of things that you haven’t prepared for. It’s going to be a tough ballgame for us.”