Mehlville Panthers kick off ’12 season by steamrolling Northwest Lions 49-22

The Mehlville Senior High School football team kicked off the 2012 season in similar fashion to the way it started the 2011 season — steamrolling the Northwest Lions.

Mehlville defeated the Lions 43-7 in last year’s season opener.

Friday night, the Panthers tamed the Lions 49-22.

Coming off a 4-6 season in 2011, the Panthers look to climb to the top of the ranks and regain the stronghold they held for many years in the Suburban West Conference.

This year, the Panthers just may have the talent to do so.

Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer saw many positives in the Panthers’ play against Northwest, but knows that does not mean much until his team proves it can execute the same plays against some of the more elite teams in the conference.

“It feels good. It’s always good to get a first win,” Meyer told the Call. “The kids came out and played pretty hard. We know there are things we have to work on and get better at, but it feels good at least for tonight.”

The Panthers took control of the ball early and often, kicking off to the Lions after scoring on their first five possessions of the contest.

Meyer said it was an overall team effort with bright spots in all areas, especially the offense.

“We made some nice plays,” the Mehlville head coach said. “We ran the ball real well and then we mixed in a couple passes and (quarterback) Brendan Moore did a real good job getting the ball, hitting the receivers. He had a pretty good game passing and rushing.”

Moore had more than 200 yards of total offense in the contest, but that was kind of expected, according to the Mehlville coach.

“The offensive line played really well,” Meyer said.

Besides getting a confidence boost to start the season, the Panthers got the chance to burn off a little anxiety and experience some team unity.

“We were looking forward to getting out there and playing a little bit,” Meyer said. “We had a lot of different guys contribute tonight. A lot of guys helped out.”

The Panthers will know soon enough if they have what it takes as they get ready to face good Fort Zumwalt North team at 7 p.m. Friday at home.

Fort Zumwalt North defeated St. Charles West 14-6 to kick off its season last Friday at home.