O'HARA TWP — Mars running back Garrett Reinke doesn't ever need to worry about hiring his own security detail.
Keeping in touch with a few of his offensive linemen throughout life may provide all the help he could ever need. Reinke appeared to have Secret Service level protection Friday night at the James Burke Athletic Complex.
When Reinke received the ball during the Planets' 49-14 Northern Conference win over Fox Chapel, large holes opened through the defense. Few hands were laid on Reinke, who rushed for 229 yards on 20 carries and scored five touchdowns in the first half.
“Today, that was just perfect,” Reinke said. “They opened up huge holes. The other running backs and wide receivers would run downfield and block for me. I try to find open space, run for the sidelines and keep going.”
Mars' offensive line helped the Planets (7-1, 4-1) pile up 416 yards on 47 carries. As a team, the Planets outgained Fox Chapel 471-271. Teddy Ruffner was the Planets' second-leading rusher, finishing with 79 yards.
“We really understand what they were coming at us with,” Mars offensive lineman Hunter Boyd said. “I think we acted appropriately. We understood what they were throwing at us and quickly and effectively coming up ways to counter that and allow Garrett to get into space and produce what he did.”
That production started from the first drive for Reinke, who also recorded a sack on defense.
After taking the opening kick-off, the Planets went 80 yards in seven plays, scoring on a 32-yard run by Reinke with 9 minutes, 44 seconds remaining.
“They dominated us from the first possession and the whole first half we never came close to stopping them,” Fox Chapel coach Tom Loughran said. “They did a great job of blocking the point of attack. Once they got into our secondary, (Reinke) and (Teddy Ruffner) did a great job of running.”
Mars' defense joined the fun on Fox Chapel's first play from scrimmage.
Andrew Recchia intercepted a pass from Foxes' quarterback Shane Susnak and after a penalty, the Planets were set up on the Fox Chapel 31.
On the next play, Thomas Sheehy hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Kowalkowski, doubling Mars' lead.
“We preached all week on starting the game strong,” Reinke said. “The last couple games we didn't start strong at all. We kept getting beat in the first half.”
Four plays after Mars went ahead 21-0 on a 1-yard run by Reinke, Fox Chapel (2-6, 1-4) broke through.
Joseph D'Cunha scored on a 16-yard catch-and-run from Susnak with 2:26 left in the first quarter.Fox Chapel gained little momentum from the score, as Mars scored on three of its final four possessions to take the lead to 42-7 at halftime.
Planets coach Scott Heinauer was pleased with how his team took care of business. There was no letup once the game started.
“When you are near the top of the standings, everyone is after you,” Heinauer said. “When you are sitting up top, people want you. I told our kids we can't have a letdown. I brought up Knoch last year and having a letdown. Our kids didn't have a letdown. The score speaks for itself.”
Boyd believes the Planets can create more space.
Even finely-tuned protection details need more training.
“Obviously, there is stuff to improve on,” Boyd said. “A couple plays where a guy slips off earlier than what I like. All-in-all, we had a solid, team effort.”
Mars travels to Kiski Area on Friday.
Mars 21 21 7 0 — 49
Fox Chapel 7 0 7 0 — 14
M — Garrett Reinke 32 run (Blake Edwards kick), 9:44
M — Tom Sheehy 31 pass from Tyler Kowalkowski (Edwards kick), 9:18
M — Reinke 1 run (Edwards kick), 4:23
FC — Joseph D'Cunha 16 pass from Shane Susnak (Zachary Yonas kick), 2:26
M — Reinke 4 run (Edwards kick), 11:37
M —Reinke 5 run (Edwards kick), 4:36
M — Reinke 54 run (Edwards kick), 2:36
F — Sam Brown 21 pass from Susnak (Yonas kick), 8:03
M — Nicholas Ferro 4 run (Jacob Ottenwiller kick), :10
Rushing: Mars, Garrett Reinke 20-229 , Teddy Ruffner 8-79, Drew Schlegel 4-45, Nicholas Ferro 6-33, Khori Ramsuer-Fusco 1-21, Evan Thompson 2-11, Joey Tepke 2-4, Lance Bartley 1-2, Christian Kay 2-2, Tyler Kowalkowski 1-(-1). Fox Chapel, Shane Susnak 56-26, Sam Brown 5-13, Maurice 2-12, Justin Rice 5-10, Lorenzo Jenkins 1-5, Thomas Zidane 1-5, Timothy Johnston 1-2.
Passing: Mars, Tyler Kowalkowski 3-7-55-0. Fox Chapel, Shane Susnak 8-16-149-1, Justin Rice 3-4-39-0.
Receiving: Mars, Tom Sheehy 2-45, Mitchell Wright 1-10. Fox Chapel, Sam Brown 4-48, Lorenzo Jenkins 3-12, Korey Simmons 1-56, Benjamin Wilk 1-30, Timothy Johnson 1-26, Joseph D'Cunha 1-16.