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Ironmen Rule the Planets
By Rick Smith, Nauticom Sports Network

Steel Valley (2-0) won a battle of WPIAL Class AA play-off contenders over Mars Area (1-1) by unleashing an impressive array of offensive weapons on the way to a 27-14 victory. The game was played at Steel Valley's Campbell Field in Munhall, PA last Saturday afternoon.

Steel Valley's Devin Wilson started the scoring with a 4 yard touchdown run to give the Ironmen a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Wilson finished the afternoon with 106 yards on 16 carries. The junior tailback, who rushed for over 1,200 yards last season, has eclipsed the century mark for rushing yards in each of the Ironmen's two games this season.

After fullback Armand Posipanka scored on a 1 yard touchdown plunge with just 1:06 left in the second quarter, it appeared that the Ironmen would head to the halftime locker room with a solid 14-0 cushion.

Both Ironmen touchdowns were set up by the passing game led by quarterback Luke Getsy, one of the WPIAL's top sophomores. Jerrod Smith and Brandon Doswell were the primary targets as Getsy completed 7 passes for 75 yards in the first half.

Following Posipanka's score, however, the Planets took just 16 seconds to cut the lead in half. Mars senior quarterback Brian Rinaman hit a wide-open Dan Knechtel in stride for a 67 yard touchdown that got the Planets on the scoreboard for the first time in the contest.

The Steel valley ground game took over in the second half as the Ironmen rushed for 129 second half yards. The fact that the Planets were without the services of their two best linebackers did not help the Mars cause.

Senior Adam Sondej, the Planets' leading tackler last season, sustained a broken leg in a first week win over Canevin Catholic. In that same game, 6'3" 215 pound linebacker Andy Matakis, also considered one of the WPIAL's top sophomores, was ejected from the game. Under PIAA rules, Matakis had to sit out the game at Steel Valley.

Steel Valley jumped out to a 13 point lead on its first possession of the second half when Wilson took a pitch around left end and raced 51 yards for the touchdown. Posipanka sealed the victory when he exploded through the Mars interior wall for a 30 yard touchdown that gave the Ironmen a commanding 27-7 lead with a little over two minutes remaining in the game.

Both teams now head into conference competition this Friday evening. Steel Valley travels to Brownsville (1-0) for a big Century Conference game. Mars will host Freeport (0-2) in an Allegheny Conference opener.