South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

OHS prevails in yearly matchup with MHS

Photo by Jeremy Housewright
The Mehlville Panthers fell to the Oakville Tigers 19-9 in the annual game between the two high schools Sept. 1 at OHS. Oakville went on to claim another win last Thursday against Webster Groves, giving OHS a 3-0 record and making them undefeated so far this season.

It was clear from the start that this game would be a battle between bitter rivals.

The yearly matchup between the Mehlville Panthers and Oakville Tigers on Sept. 1 was a defensive battle between the two squads. In the end, Oakville prevailed, 19-9. The win moved the Tigers to 2-0 on the season, while Mehlville fell to 0-2 on the young season.

“Mehlville played us extremely tough,” Oakville head coach Michael Genge said. “These last few weeks we’ve dealt with some adversity and I was proud of how we responded.”

While Mehlville lost the game, head coach Kent Heinemann was proud of the moxie his young team showed.

“We played hard,” Heinemann said. “I don’t think we did the week before, but we made too many mistakes (last night). We played with great resiliency and we never gave up and battled through some adversity. The kids fought until the very end and I was happy about that.”

While the previous week’s outcomes for both teams may have led some to think the game would be a bit more lopsided, it was anything but that way. Oakville opened with a 55-0 win over Perryville, while Mehlville dropped their opener 42-7 against Fox.

Photo by Jeremy Housewright.

Oakville opened the game on the receiving end, but quickly went three-and-out, punting the ball away. Unfortunately for the Panthers, they couldn’t move the ball either, as both defenses tightened at the beginning of the game.

The Tigers finally broke the scoreless tie with 9:11 to go in the second quarter when Tyler Coleman picked off a pass and took it back for a touchdown. Following the successful extra point, Oakville led 7-0.

Genge credited Coleman for recognizing the route being run by Mehlville’s receiver on the play.

“Tyler is extremely talented and works hard at his craft,” he said. “He knew the route they favored and he was able to jump the route and capitalize.”

Mehlville had some chances in the first half, but a costly turnover and inopportune penalties thwarted their efforts.

“We would start to get some things going our way and we would get a penalty,” Heinemann said. “We are getting better, but I feel like some little things are holding this young team back.”

Photo by Jeremy Housewright.

With 2:36 to go in the first half, Oakville hit paydirt again, as sophomore Max Bradley connected with senior Zac Hough for a touchdown. The extra point failed, bringing the score to 13-0 Oakville.

“We were able to take advantage of their man-to-man.” Genge said. “Our OL was able to give Max time and he delivered.”

In the third quarter, the Tigers took a 19-0 lead on a 7-yard touchdown run by senior Ethan Venable. Venable, who scored three touchdowns and rushed for over 200 yards the week before, was held in check most of the night by the Mehlville defense. While he may not have had the same stellar night offensively as the week before, Venable was a thorn in the Panthers side on defense.

“We did a good job and had a nice gameplan for him offensively,” Heinemann said. “Now defensively, he was all over the place. We ended up having to run away from him a lot.”

Mehlville was able to get on the board in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 19-7, then adding a safety in the third quarter to bring the score to 19-9. That would be the final.

The Panthers were home against Parkway South in week three, while Oakville played a rare Thursday night contest against Webster Groves at Kirkwood High School Sept, 7, where the Tigers won 35-24.

Genge told The Call ahead of the Webster Groves game that the Tigers woud have to be ready for a short week of practice.

“This is a new thing to us, so we hope we can get ready,” he said. “Friday (against MHS) was a physical game, we talked with our kids about taking care of their bodies. It will be a challenge for sure.”

Meanwhile, the Panthers were excited to be at home after two weeks on the road.

“The kids are excited about playing at home,” Heinemann told The Call prior to the Panthers’ Sept. 8 game. “They are frustrated. We are all frustrated, but they do see that we are moving in the right direction.”

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