Panthers roll over Northwest 56-7

Mehlville plays host to SLUH in quarterfinal on Friday night

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The Mehlville Senior High School football team’s 56-point outburst in the first half was all that the Panthers needed in a 56-7 rout of Northwest.

Although Mehlville (8-2, 6-1 Suburban West) already had clinched the Class 6, District 1 championship, it was important to head coach Gary Heyde that his Panthers enter the playoffs on a strong note.

“We felt like we needed to go into the playoffs with some momentum,” Heyde told the Call. “I was hoping to see some improvements in some areas and still come out healthy.”

The Panthers wasted very little time in jumping out to a 7-0 lead when quarterback Alexis Reedus scored on a 10-yard run with 9:21 left in the first quarter.

Reedus carried the ball five times for 54 yards and two touchdowns. The senior quarterback also completed five of six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns.

“Alexis keeps improving every week,” Heyde said. “All of those stats are for just one half, so he had an outstanding night.”

Mehlville scored again on a 19-yard run by Joel Fieseler with 8:10 left in the first quarter. The senior running back racked up 52 yards rushing on seven carries and one touchdown.

“Joel had a solid night,” Heyde said. “We had some real good blocking from the offensive line and did a great job that night.”

Phil Blair brought the score to 21-0 on a 63-yard touchdown run with 6:11 left in the first quarter. Blair carried the ball two times for 81 yards and one touchdown. The junior running back also recorded one reception for 20 yards.

“Phil had over 100 yards offense in one half,” Heyde said. “He’s become a real threat in the passing game as well as the running game.”

Mehlville finished the first quarter with its fourth touchdown when running back Tyrone Clark scored on a three-yard run. The junior running back carried the ball seven times for 44 yards and two touchdowns.

“Tyrone ended up scoring three touchdowns in that game,” Heyde said. “He’s been running the ball well and we’ve also been throwing the ball to him more.”

With 11:55 to play in the second quarter, Reedus scored on a six-yard run for his second touchdown of the game.

Northwest finally responded to Mehlville’s 35-point outburst when quarterback Jake Waterkotte scored on a one-yard run with 7:38 left in the second quarter.

But the Panthers continued to tame the Lions when Clark grinded out a three-yard touchdown run with 4:50 left in the second quarter. Mehlville increased its lead to 49-7 on a 37-yard pass from Reedus to Clark with 3:13 left in the first half.

Reedus scored again with seven seconds remaining in the first half when he hit junior tight end Aaron Alexander on a three-yard touchdown pass to give Mehlville a commanding 56-7 lead. Alexander recorded two receptions for 35 yards and one touchdown in the win.

“Aaron had a nice night,” Heyde said. “You never know who’s going to have a good game with our offense.”

The Panthers are back in action at 7 p.m. Friday when they play host to St. Louis University High in the Class 6 quarterfinal. SLUH (6-4, 2-2 Metro Catholic Conference) started the season 1-3 before winning five of its last six games en route to the Class 6, District 2 championship.

The Junior Billikens are coming off a 34-20 win at Vianney as SLUH running back Ronnie Wingo carried the ball 31 times for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

“Ronnie Wingo’s one of the top recruits in the area and we’re going to have to contain him,” Heyde said. “SLUH’s got good balance and they’re well-coached, so they’ll be very well-prepared.”