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The Journal Gazette

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Carroll quarterback Jack Miguel passed for three touchdowns and ran for another in the Chargers' victory.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Bishop Dwenger’s Chip Clark gains yards against Carroll on Friday at Zollner Stadium.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017 1:00 am

Carroll 28 Dwenger 24

Defense saves Chargers

Tackle at 1 with no time left denies Saints from winning score

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

All Friday night, Carroll junior linebacker Jack Tranquill had the unshakeable knowledge it was going to take that one big play to win it. While Bishop Dwenger had led almost the entire game, the momentum kept moving back and forth between the Saints and Tranquill's Chargers.

In the end, a huge play was needed, and Tranquill was the one to deliver it at Zollner Stadium.

With no time on the clock, he stood up Dwenger's Hayden Ellinger, who had come out of the backfield to catch a pass from backup quarterback Patrick O'Keefe. Tranquill got to Ellinger at the 2-yard line and held him there for what seemed like an eternity but was really just the milliseconds needed for a slew of Chargers to come in and drag Ellinger to the ground at the 1.

Game over, Chargers win 28-24.

“They're a great football team, and it was back and forth all night. It's just that one play and you've got to rise to the occasion with your team and you've just got to take charge,” said Tranquill, whose Chargers (3-2) have won three in a row.

While a game-saving play by a Tranquill is nothing new for the Chargers – brother Drue is a team captain at Notre Dame and brother Justin plays for Western Michigan – Friday's victory-sealing play might have put Jack on the map, especially with fans of Dwenger (3-2), the seventh-ranked team in Class 4A, which was celebrating homecoming and the 50th anniversary of the Saints' first city title but went home disappointed.

“I was just going to the play,” Tranquill said. “I was getting the middle. And I thought I had my guy covered up. But everyone had lockdown 'D' and they got it through the middle. But you know, I couldn't have gotten that tackle without my teammates. They helped me drive him back so he couldn't get in the end zone.”

The Chargers trailed 14-0 after Saints lineman Jared Monnier barreled into the end zone from 3 yards out with 4:33 left in the second quarter. After an interception by Dwenger's T.J. McGarry, who also forced and recovered a fumble, the Saints went up 24-14 when O'Keefe, in for the injured Eddie Morris, connected with Will Nelson over the middle for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 6:38 left in the third quarter.

The explosive combination of Carroll quarterback Jack Miguel and receiver Justin Becker was solid all night; Miguel completed 23 of 41 passes for 258 yards with three touchdown passes, a rushing touchdown and an interception, while Becker had seven catches for 102 yards and one touchdown. They connected for a 32-yard touchdown with 3:40 left in the third, cutting the deficit to three, after which a would-be touchdown catch by Dwenger's Bradley Black was waved off by an official who ruled he was out of bounds and a field-goal attempt was blocked by Carroll's Terell Griffin.

Miguel found Nathan Harrah on a 4-yard touchdown pass with 4:12 remaining for the 28-24 lead, before O'Keefe marched the Saints downfield and into the arms of Tranquill.

“We had worked hard for this, knowing that (the Saints) wanted to come out and get us,” Becker said. “But we just continued to work hard all night. In the game, we kept our heads up and competed and we got the win.”

Bishop Dwenger's Chip Clark rushed 17 times for 127 yards and a touchdown.

jcohn@jg.net