When the visiting Mehlville Senior High School football team took the field Friday night against Northwest, the Panthers never looked back as they steamrolled the Lions 43-7.
Panthers head coach Eric Meyer was in good spirits after the season-opening win, but he remains focused on how his team can get better.
“I think we did some good things,” he told the Call. “I think we got a little sloppy there at the end. We can’t have penalties like that. So we’ll evaluate and get down to it and we just need to clean it up.”
Behind a solid performance by the offensive line, the running game was the prevailing weapon of choice for the Panthers.
The Panthers tallied a total of 271 rushing yards in 35 plays for per-carry average of 7.7 yards. The passing game was moot, though, with only one completion in eight attempts for 15 yards.
“They did a nice job,” Meyer said about the offensive line. “Just looking at the way things went, I think we had some good plays.”
Chase Brown led the Panthers in rushing with 110 yards, followed by Brandon Zufall, who had 39 yards.
Scoring for the Panthers were Zufall with a 20-yard field goal, Dwayne Lewis with three touchdowns, Brown with two touchdowns and Josh Sitner with one.
The Lions started to threaten late in the first half but were unsuccessful. The Panthers played solid on defense, giving up just one touchdown in the third quarter that was scored by Kenny Stibor.
“They were real good. Right at the end of the half, they sucked it up and didn’t give up a point,” Meyer said of the Panthers’ defense. “Then later on, we just made a mistake and it cost us a touchdown. We will get better. We are going to need to.
“The season gets tougher and tougher all year and everybody gets better, so if you don’t get better then you are not going to have many wins.”
The Panthers will spend the week getting prepared to take on Eureka at 7 p.m. Friday at home.
“I know they are real physical. They’re a good football team,” Meyer said of Eureka. “They are well prepared. If we don’t come out and get better, it’s going to be real tough for us. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us this week.”