Mars gets back on track, 32-0
Eagle Staff Writer
Written by:
September 9, 2017

ADAMS TWP — With his team’s 30-6 loss last week to South Fayette in mind, Mars football coach Scott Heinauer was adamant about the need to get his running game back on track.

But Mars’ defense also needed a spark.

What the Planets delivered was a defensive explosion and Blackhawk was unfortunate enough to be stuck at ground zero Friday night.

The Planets allowed just 91 offensive yards to the Cougars as Mars secured its first Northwest Nine Conference victory of the season with a 32-0 decision.

Blackhawk dropped to a 0-2 hole in conference play.

“Dave Goodworth does a great job as our defensive coordinator,” said Heinauer. “We changed a couple of things up and were able to take advantage of mismatches up front.”

The Planets’ dominance was on display early on. Blackhawk halfback Kenny Gawley failed to get past the line of scrimmage on his first eight carries of the game.

“Last year against Blackhawk (in a 24-21 win), we came out and got down 21-0 really fast,” said Mars junior defensive tackle Chase Lambert. “We knew we had to come out and get the job done, get penetration and get to the quarterback.”

Trailing 13-0 late in the first half, Blackhawk’s chances took another hit. On a 4th-and-16 from the Cougar 33, Tyler Kowalkowski eluded Blackhawk’s pressure and got off a pass to the goal-line, where Cade Hetzler was waiting. His touchdown gave the Planets a 19-0 lead with 48 seconds remaining before halftime.

“Tyler was aware, he kept the play alive and Cade’s an athlete,” said Heinauer. “He’s going after the ball.”

The Planet defense was given an early lead to protect. On the game’s first play from scrimmage, wingback Chuck Green took a handoff and raced 70 yards to the Cougar 10. Six plays later, fullback Garrett Reinke scored from four yards out, the first of his three touchdowns on the night.

Mars’ running game had a few kinks. Several drives were slowed because of attempts for little or no gain. But Green, Reinke and Davis Bayne each managed big runs to change field position and, in some cases, set up a score.

Reinke’s 37-yard jaunt on Mars’ first play of the second quarter set the Planets up at Blackhawk’s 39. Bayne added a 32-yard run later in the drive, which ended with Reinke’s 2-yard score.

Green scored on an 85-yard run in the third quarter and Reinke reached pay dirt from 38 yards out in the fourth quarter.