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You can't stop the Tranquill brothers, or even contain them

Carroll junior Justin Tranquill, with ball, rushed for a school-record 254 yards and had three touchdowns in the Chargers' 49-7 rout of Homestead on Friday. (News-Sentinel photo by Ellie Bogue)
Carroll junior Justin Tranquill, with ball, rushed for a school-record 254 yards and had three touchdowns in the Chargers' 49-7 rout of Homestead on Friday. (News-Sentinel photo by Ellie Bogue)

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Homestead slows Drue, but Justin picks up slack in Carroll victory

Saturday, October 26, 2013 12:01 am
Homestead did one of the primary things it had to do to have a chance to knock off Carroll on Friday night in the Class 6A Sectional 3 opener. The Spartans keyed on Charger senior Drue Tranquill, they shadowed him, they spied him and they made him work for every single one of his 78 yards on 17 carries. His yards per carry was 4.5, fully 10 yards less than his season per carry average.

Unfortunately, another Tranquill picked up the slack.

Drue's brother, Justin, an emerging phenom himself, set a school record by rushing for 254 yards in the 49-7 rout over Homestead. He scored three touchdowns on 22 carries and also added 72 yards receiving and a score.

Justin's performance was nothing short of magnificent. Rarely did he go down on first contact, displaying a tremendous spin move seemingly stolen straight from Madden. On outside runs he set up his blocks perfectly before bursting through the hole, turning it on into another gear and blowing down the sidelines on a pair of 79-yard touchdown runs.

Homestead (5-5) had absolutely no answer for the junior running back that has now rushed for 1,329 yards and 18 touchdowns on 144 carries.

Drue has been just as impressive throughout the season, accounting for 1,306 yards and 26 touchdowns on just 98 attempts.

Class 6A is absolutely loaded with top-flight programs, and the run to a state title game will be tough for anyone. With the two-headed Tranquill monster, perhaps No. 11 Carroll (8-2) can get to Lucas Oil Stadium, but even if it cannot there is no question we are witnessing one of the greatest duos in area history.

There is something aesthetically pleasing about watching the Tranquills perform. They do not carry themselves like any sort of prima donnas. They hit the field, they lead their teams and they absolutely dominate their opposition. When Justin ran away from the Homestead defense twice for long touchdown runs on Friday night, he calmly flipped the ball away and celebrated with his teammates.

No talk, no show, all business.

Drue has been the model of humility during his recruiting process that is seeing his heart torn between West Lafayette and South Bend. But on Friday nights, he is one of the guys. He and his brother separate themselves from others by their play on the field, not their attitude or demeanor.

These two kids are to be celebrated and congratulated for not just their eye-opening statistics, but with the way they approach the game knowing that they are better than just about anybody that they will face at this level of football.

On Friday night, they displayed those attributes once again, with Warsaw at home next on their plate in a week's time.* Big props for Coach Kyle Lindsay and his Bishop Luers Knights for earning their first victory of the season in a 41-3 rout of West Noble to kick off Class 3A Sectional 27. It is a win long deserved for a program accustomed to winning championships, let alone individual games.

There has been just as much talk around town about the Knights' struggles as there as been conversation regarding teams winning league championships. Questions range from if Lindsay is in over his head to if the team simply isn't talented.

Friday's win does not answer every question regarding the program, nor does it completely silence the critics. But what it did show is that this team is still firmly one that has not given up on the season. That is the mark of a good coach and a solid senior class. The Pig knows of many programs that would have simply packed it in after such a bad regular season, but the Knights continued to work, continued to believe and stuck together.

Can Bishop Luers win a sectional championship? Anything is possible. But at the very least, the victory over West Noble showed that things are far from chaotic within 'The Lu'.

* Remember earlier this week when The Pig warned against a Bishop Dwenger letdown on Friday? Ignore that statement.

The Saints took care of business on the road against a solid Northridge team and now turn their attention to Angola at home next week.

The Pig says ignore Class 4A No. 11 Bishop Dwenger's late-season three-game losing streak. This team has more consistency in terms of playmakers than perhaps anyone else in the area. They are not flashy, but guys from quarterback Mike Fiacable to wide receivers Ryan Watercutter and Marcus Stepp to running backs Tyler Tippmann and Ryan Cinadr straight get the job done.

This team is going to be a tough out, and could perhaps be the area's top chance at a representative at Lucas Oil Stadium.

And there is no doubt the Saints want a rematch with Leo after dropping the sectional title game to the Lions two years ago.

* Let's take a minute to congratulate Coach Sherwood Haydock and his Woodlan program that won its first sectional game since 2005 on Friday night, a 57-26 beatdown of Central Noble.

Jaylin Bennett gets the pub, and for good reason as the area's leading rusher. But senior speedster Greg White is a big play waiting to happen each time he touches the ball.

Two of Woodlan's losses came by a touchdown, including a seven-point loss to Leo. People need to prepare themselves to not be shocked if the Warriors (7-3) win their first sectional championship since 1988.

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