SUWANEE - Collins Hill head coach Billy Wells knew he would have a reliable running game going into the season. The question mark was how he would replace Division I quarterback Michael Box.
The Eagles' passing game took a hit went Taylor Heinicke bruised his shoulder. Now that the junior is back healthy, it looks like the Eagles have a well-rounded offense.
Heinicke threw a career-best three touchdown passes to lead Collins Hill to a 35-0 win over Mill Creek on Friday.
"They can't just stop Charles (Perkins) now because there's another threat," Heinicke said. "It's going to be two different threats."
Heinicke was 10 of 15 passing for 152 yards. He had two touchdown passes to Cameron Nolan, who had five catches for 52 yards, and a 23-yard pass to Jeff Glover. That complemented a 107-yard rushing night by Perkins, who added two touchdowns.
"Certainly anytime you can go and stop being one dimensional and grow into a more complete offense, which I think we did tonight, and have kind of been working towards all season," Wells said. "We kind of had a setback with Taylor and his shoulder, but he's full strength now and it certainly helps."
Perkins, a Georgia Tech commitment, was held to his lowest rushing total of the season last week against Peachtree Ridge. He rushed for 107 yards, gaining 57 of those yards on one run on Friday. It was his sixth 100-yard rushing game this season for Gwinnett County's leading rusher.
The blowout win was a nice comeback after the Eagles (7-1, 5-1) experienced their first loss of the season last week to Peachtree Ridge.
"It was good to have a team effort after playing hard and having a few key mistakes," Wells said. "It was good to come out tonight and see the kids put it together in all three phases of the game."
Mill Creek's loss ends the Hawks' slim playoff hopes they had coming into the game. Injuries have plagued the Hawks all season and the best the team can hope for is a 5-5 season this year. After scoring 52 points last week, Mill Creek (3-5, 2-4 region) was shut out for the second time in three weeks.
"That was real big and a real confidence builder for the defense," said Collins Hill linebacker Chris Caspari, who had eight tackles.
Brad White led the team with nine stops and Dakota Conn had seven.
Mill Creek was called for running into the punter to keep Collins Hill's first drive alive. The Eagles capitalized with a 25-yard pass from Heinicke to Glover. Heinicke then hit Nolan for a 14-yard touchdown.
Collins Hill needed just two plays to go up 14-0 with 1:26 left in the quarter. Perkins took the handoff left and cut through a wave of Mill Creek defenders to the right for a 57-yard touchdown.
Ricky Fawbush led Mill Creek's defense with eight tackles, Cameron Dillard had seven and Tim Hill and Taylor Coleman had six each.
Heinicke spearheaded another scoring drive with a 30-yard pass to Dustin Hallmark and then a 23-yard TD pass to Glover to put the Eagles up 21-0.
Mill Creek had two scoring attempts in the final two minutes of the half. After Collins Hill went up 21-0, the Hawks responded with its best drive of the half to the two-yard line thanks to two personal fouls by Collins Hill. The Eagles' defense tightened up and a fourth down pass by John Russ in the end zone was incomplete. The Hawks then tried a 34-yard field goal attempt by Scott Morton as the half expired, but it was no good.
"That was kind of back and fourth there," Wells said. "Great job defensively standing tall and bowing their backs. Coach (Larry) Massey and those other coaches and players did a great job."
The Hawks' offense didn't fare much better in the second half. Mill Creek had just 34 yards of total offense in the second have and just two first downs.
Russ was 8 of 21 for 37 yards passing. He was 3 of 11 for six yards in the second half. Brandon Hayman was the Hawks' leading receiver with three catches for 28 yards.
Michael Gederon's fumble recovery at the 16 set up the Eagles first score of the second half. Heinicke connected for his third touchdown pass with a seven-yard strike to a wide open Nolan.
"It was a run play and I just aubibled to a quick slant right there for a touchdown," Heinicke.
Perkins added his second TD from seven yards out to start the fourth quarter.