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Stevenson's fast start powers Oakville past archrival Mehlville

Speedy wideout Avion Stevenson catches two touchdown bombs in the first quarter to help Tigers sprint past battered up Panthers.

All season long, Oakville senior Avion Stevenson has been waiting for his chance to make a big play in a big game.

And last week, during Oakville's Homecoming Game against Fox, Stevenson got his chance, when the Warriors punted him the ball just before halftime.

The ultra-speedy Stevenson ran circles around the Fox coverage team and raced into the end zone for a 65-yard touchdown that would've given Oakville a 14-0 lead in front of its biggest crowd of the season.

It was perfect. Just what Stevenson was waiting for. Except for one thing, the play was called back on a penalty.

"It felt so great," Stevenson said. "I was so excited. I didn't even know about the penalty until I got to the sideline. And then I was like, 'man, you gotta be kidding me.'"

Stevenson didn't get another chance against Fox, and it bugged him all week.

Until Friday night against archrival Mehlville, when Stevenson knew that Oakville head coach Arlee Connors would call on him to make some plays early in the game.

And this time, Stevenson wouldn't be denied, as he caught a pair of first-quarter touchdown bombs from quarterback Andrew Oliver, which helped Oakville sprint past its district rivals for a 38-6 victory at Mehlville's Jack Jordan Stadium.

"I just knew I had to go out and do it this week," Stevenson said.

The Oliver-to-Stevenson tandem gave Oakville the lead early, but in the final three quarters, it was the ground game, led by seniors Moe LaGrand and Derrick Brown that allowed the Tigers to cruise to their second straight victory.

LaGrand, who was the star of last week's win over Fox, with 154 rushing yards and three touchdowns, had a career-high 207 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns on Friday against Mehlville.

"They've got some athletes on that Oakville sideline," Mehlville head coach Eric Meyer said. "They've got a lot of speed, and that quarterback's real good on that roll out pass. They can make it tough on you. They did on us tonight."

Mehlville also hurt itself with five turnovers, including three lost fumbles on the wet turf at Jack Jordan Stadium.

Despite those miscues, the Panthers were able to get back into the game, following a sensational 93-yard kickoff return by sophomore Michael Mik. 

That play came after Stevenson's second touchdown, and made the score 14-6.

Unfortunately for Mehlville, that was the only big play that went in its favor against Oakville, which dominated the ball and the momentum for the final three quarters.

"If we play our game, we can play with anybody," Oakville head coach Arlee Connors said. "That's the mindset we have."

The Tigers (3-4) will look to make it three wins in a row, next Friday, October 12, when they'll host winless Northwest at 7 p.m.

Mehlville (1-6) will look to end its losing streak next week, with a game at Saint Louis University High, Friday at 7 p.m.

Score by Quarters ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final

Oakville ................... 14 .. 7 .. 14 .. 3 -- 38

Mehlville .................. 6 ... 0 ... 0 ... 0 -- 6

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

Oakv - Avion Stevenson 56 yd pass from Andrew Oliver (David Chopin kick) -- 11:45 .......... 7-0

Oakv - Avion Stevenson 28 yd pass from Andrew Oliver (David Chopin kick) -- 8:27 .......... 14-0

Mehl - Michael Mik 93 yd kickoff return (kick failed) -- 8:12 ......... 14-6

2nd Quarter

Oakv - Moe LaGrand 15 yd run (David Chopin kick) -- 5:30 ............ 21-6

3rd Quarter

Oakv - Derrick Brown 1 yd run (David Chopin kick) -- 6:11 ............ 28-6

Oakv - Moe LaGrand 1 yd run (David Chopin kick) -- 4:00 ............. 35-6

4th Quarter

Oakv - David Chopin 29 yd field goal -- 5:25 ....................................... 38-6

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