SPORTS ANALYSIS: Football Tigers roll to third straight win; conference playoff picture crystal clear

The Oakville Senior High School football team captured its third consecutive victory Friday night, defeating Northwest 42-8. Above, Oakville’s William Johnson pursues a Northwest runner.

The Oakville Senior High School football team captured its third consecutive victory Friday night, defeating Northwest 42-8. Above, Oakville’s William Johnson pursues a Northwest runner.

By Robert Chalupny

Eight weeks into the 2012 high school football regular season, the playoff picture in the Suburban West Conference is crystal clear and for three south county teams — Oakville, Lindbergh and Mehlville — it is not picture perfect.

With one week left in the regular season, little room exists for movement in the conference standings.

The current standings are:

1 — Lafayette.

2 — Parkway South.

3 — Eureka.

4 — Oakville. The Tigers defeated Northwest 42-8 Friday night.

5 — Fox.

6 — Lindbergh. The Flyers defeated Marquette 23-7 Friday night.

7 — Marquette.

8 — Mehlville. The Panthers fell 42-14 Friday night to St. Louis University High School.

9 — Northwest.

For any team to shift in the standings, Fox would have to pull off an unlikely upset over Lafayette.

With the powerful offense and stifling defense the Lancers put on the field every week, it would take a miracle.

If the Warriors could beat Lafayette, they would be tied with the Oakville Tigers and potentially could surpass them in the standings, depending on how the tiebreakers unfold.

Most likely, the Tigers will remain in the No. 4 spot, giving them the most probable chance of advancing past the first round of the playoffs. They will host their opponent and will face one of the weaker conference teams.

With Friday night’s victory over Northwest, the Oakville Tigers are coming off a three-game winning streak after struggling through the first half. The Tigers won just one of their first five games, but now are 4-4 overall and 4-3 in the conference.

The position they are in now can be attributed to working out some kinks in their offense and pushing their defense to get better every week.

On the flip side, the Lindbergh Flyers are 3-5 overall and have not had the success they hoped for this season. The main reasons for their slide in the standings is inexperience, a lack of offensive production and injuries.

That said, they are not to be taken lightly because they probably have the most potential of any team in the conference to pull out an upset in the playoffs.

The Flyers have a solid defense and are in the middle of the pack — fourth — in points allowed with 149, which separates them from Eureka, Oakville and Marquette by a margin of 18 points.

If the Flyers could manage to extract all the potential the offense has and get in the end zone a few more times, they could hold off any opponent.

On the other hand, Mehlville’s fate is sealed.

The Panthers are 1-7 overall and second to last in the conference. And they will face one of the top conference teams in the playoffs.

The Panthers woes are due in large part to injuries. They have been riddled with injuries all season to key players. They started the season with a lot of potential, but are struggling on both sides of the ball.

And while Mehlville fans know the team will give a 150-percent effort the next two games, an upset does not seem possible from the current vantage point.