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Panthers roll to third straight victory

Mehlville to tackle Oakville this week

Robert Chalupny
For the Call

The Mehlville Senior High School football team rolled to its third straight win Friday might after coming from behind to defeat Parkway South 40-34 in overtime. Above, Mehlville quarterback Brendan Moore carries the ball. Moore rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries and completed five of 15 passes for 75 yards. Megan LeFaivre-Zimmerman photo (click for larger version)
October 09, 2013 - Mehlville Senior High School varsity football fans probably would agree that victory is always sweeter when it is achieved by a narrow margin, which is what the Panthers did at home Friday night when they knocked off their third straight opponent, Parkway South, 40-34 in overtime.

After stopping the Patriots on their overtime drive, it was time for the Panthers to make a run at it. At the end of that drive and the last play of the game, it was Mike Mik with 6-yard touchdown run to give Mehlville its longest winning streak in recent years.

Panthers head coach Kent Heinemann credits the strong desire and effort by his players for the winning streak.

"Our kids just never give up," he told the Call. "When things are going good, they just kind of get back up and keep fighting and they just don't ever give up. They are a relentless group of kids and it's paying off right now for them."

Besides the Panthers' effort, personnel is another driving factor and it starts with football's most important player on the field — the quarterback.

For Mehlville, that's Brendan Moore, who had three touchdown runs in the contest and is in his third and final season with the team. He has been a very powerful weapon and was last year, but battled some injuries and missed part of the season.

"He's not the most vocal leader, but I think just his athleticism and the plays he makes, he inspires everybody," Heinemann said of his quarterback. "He inspires us coaches to call things that maybe we wouldn't normally call because it's Brendan and he's gonna make things happen."

The Panthers have had a complete reversal after going winless in their first three games. A three game-winning streak is giving players more confidence and they are making more plays because of it, according to Heinemann.

"Three in row, that's huge," he said. "I mean, we've got so much momentum. Like I said, when you come back after a win your practices are better they are more crisp, they are more efficient.

"We've got a lot of momentum. The kids are excited and they are bringing that excitement to practice."

The biggest difference the Mehlville coach has seen in his squad since the beginning of the season is its discipline.

"They are flying around and energetic, and they're playing physical and disciplined assignment football," he said.

This week, the Panthers will be on the road to take on their biggest rival and closest in proximity and team strength, the Oakville Senior High School Tigers.

Heinemann knows not to let off the gas pedal at all, understanding that his team has plenty to learn before the playoffs arrive.

"We've got a long way to go. We are taking it a game at a time," he said. "Parkway South was a pretty darn good team. Oakville always plays tough.

"Even in years when they've been good and we've been down, it's always a tough game and vice versa. It's going to be a big game at their place and our kids are excited to get after it."

Tags: Mehlville School District News, Web Exclusive, Prep Boys - Mehlville

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