FORT WAYNE – This week, it was little brother’s time to shine.
Carroll junior Justin Tranquill busted out of the shadow of his celebrated older brother, senior Drue Tranquill, with a school-record 254 rushing yards in a 49-7 thrashing of host Homestead on Friday in the first round of a Class 6A sectional.
“Shout out to the O-line,” Justin Tranquill said. “They battled hard and opened up holes for me. Coming out tonight, we just knew we had to play hard from the get-go.”
The previous record for rushing yards in a game was 232. Justin Tranquill also ran for three scores and caught three passes for 82 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown catch, and had an interception.
“He is a tremendous athlete,” Carroll coach Doug Dinan said of Justin Tranquill.
“One guy doesn’t get 254 yards by himself, though. You have to have a collection of a whole offensive squad, especially the offensive line, to be able to do that.”
Drue Tranquill, a Purdue recruit who is also being wooed by Notre Dame, had 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Chandler Boggs threw for 162 yards and two scores.
“I am so excited for him,” Drue Tranquill said of Justin. “He has needed that. He just had a breakout game. He hit it, and he was a man tonight. He carried the load on offense.”
Carroll (8-2) will play host to Warsaw (7-3) in the sectional championship next Friday. Because of the addition of a sixth class this year, 6A has 32 teams and four-team sectionals.
“It’s kind of exciting because after one game, boom, here you are in the championship,” Dinan said. “But it’s no different than our mindset last year when we made it to the sectional championship.”
The Chargers notched their second win this season over the Spartans (5-5) after a 51-34 decision three weeks ago.
“Previous to this year, we hadn’t beaten (the Spartans) in 10 years, and now we get two wins in one year,” Justin Tranquill said. “It’s a great feeling.”
After giving up a 99-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown and a 7-0 Spartans lead on the first series of the game, the Chargers’ defense clamped down en route to 49 unanswered points.
“Coming into the game, we knew we couldn’t get into another shootout with them,” Justin Tranquill said. “We mixed things around and came up with a new defense, and it seemed to be effective against the pass tonight.”
Homestead finished the season on a four-game losing streak, the first time the program has had that many defeats in a row since 1994, when the Spartans lost five straight and finished 2-7.
It’s the first time since 2004 the Spartans have had at least five losses in a season when they were 7-5.
“All along we knew Homestead would be the team we had to pass through to win a sectional,” Dinan said. “The draw was kind to us, and it was right out in front of you. There was no worrying about overlooking your Round 1 opponent.”