October 10, 2012 - In a spirited football matchup Friday night between the Mehlville Panthers and the Oakville Tigers, Oakville came out on top with a 38-6 victory.
The Tigers, now 3-4 overall with a conference record of 3-3, continue to inch their way up in the Suburban West Conference standings. Oakville now stands in fifth place in the conference after dominating the field against Mehlville.
The Panthers, now 1-6 overall with a conference record of 1-5, fell to eighth place in the Suburban West Conference, just ahead of 0-7 Northwest. Oakville will face Northwest Friday night at home.
Oakville head coach Arlee Conners told the Call he attributed the win over Mehlville to getting off to a good start.
"I thought we came out explosive at the very beginning. We got on top early with two touchdowns in the first (quarter)," he said. "Overall, it was another step up in the right direction."
Oakville receiver Avion Stevenson began the offensive onslaught in the Tigers' opening drive, scoring on a 56-yard pass from quarterback Andy Oliver with 11:45 on the clock in the first quarter.
Just two short possessions later, Stevenson caught a 28-yard pass from Oliver, scoring his second touchdown of the night at the 8:27 mark.
Mehville's Mike Mik answered that one quickly, though, as he caught the following kickoff at the 5-yard line and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown at 8:12 in the first quarter.
But the Panthers missed the extra-point attempt and never returned to the end zone, while the Tigers' Moe LaGrand plotted another in the second quarter with 5:30 left in the half. Oakville added two more touchdowns in the third quarter and a field goal in the fourth.
"It was a tough night," Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer told the Call.
Conners emphasized how important it was to keep the momentum going for his team.
"To get two conference wins, to get two wins in a row, is huge — a chance to win a conference game against their rival," he said. "It does a lot for their for confidence."
Aside from skill, size, speed and raw talent that any team needs, that confidence paired with execution is something the Tigers' offense needs to be successful for the remainder of the season.
"They can keep it going. They need to make sure they capitalize on their opportunities," Conners said of his offense. "We need to get better at some things, too."
Friday's contest against Northwest should aid in the confidence building as the Lions have allowed 271 points against this season, while scoring just 41.
The Panthers, on the other hand, have another tough battle to face with 3-3 St. Louis University High School on Friday.
And while there is no question it has been a frustrating year for the Panthers, they have to keep battling — especially with a new playoff format.
Meyer said his players need to make the most of the situation.
"We've got three more games and we need to make some noise," he said. "That's what you've got to do. You play 10 games and you play them as hard as you can. We've just got to move forward."