September 26, 2012 - By ROBERT CHALUPNY
For the Call
The Mehlville Senior High School football Panthers are looking for a win when they face Parkway South this week.
Mehlville (1-4) has dropped four consecutive games, including Friday night's 42-7 loss to Marquette.
Every time a team makes a mistake in the game of football, it usually has to pay for it and that has been the case for the Panthers in 2012. Friday was no different.
Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer said there were some positives on the night, but the Panthers could not get a consistent rhythm going.
"It started out OK," Meyer told the Call. "The defense played pretty well and then, you know, just turnovers. We got a couple scores down (and) we just couldn't get it solved. It was a tough night ...
"We're just making too many mistakes right now. We just can't play that way."
The Panthers had some strong performances from Kirkland Burton, who had 19 rushes for 143 yards, and Dwayne Lewis, who tallied eight tackles and two assists.
Greg VonderHaar and Jimmy Sellers also turned in some spirited performances, but the Panthers need a strong performance from all 11 players on the field each time they are out there, according to Meyer.
Mehlville also should receive a little more help by adding Patrick Partee, a two-way starter, back into the mix as he is returning from an injury he suffered three weeks ago.
"That was a nice surprise to get him back on the field," Meyer said. "He played defense and was flying around."
With half the season behind them, the Panthers have their toughest battles ahead as they will face Parkway South at 7 p.m. Friday on the road. The Panthers then face Oakville, St. Louis University High School and Lindbergh, followed by a yet-to-be determined opponent in their 10th game — the first playoff contest.
The strategy for the Panthers for the second half is simple, but it is not as simple to execute, according to the coach.
"Well, just getting healthy and consistency," Meyer said of what is needed for the second half. "We just have to be more consistent taking care of the ball.
"We have some good things happen and then we kind of have some breakdowns and they cost us. We're putting the defense in a tough position with a short field. We can't do that. We're just going to have to get better."
While the Panthers know what is ahead, they must stay focused on the next game and nothing else.
"It's the same thing this week, just try to get better and like I told the kids, we're in the hunt for playoffs. That's just the nature of the beast," Meyer said. "You're never out of it.
"It's just the better you play, the better chance you have of hosting a game. And if you're in the bottom of the conference, you're going to play the top of the conference so you make it hard on yourself. But we can't look at that. Parkway South is a good team … We've got our hands full with them."