MERRILLVILLE — Zack Merrill is asked the question all the time: "Are you related to the Merrillville Merrills?"
"I'm not," said the Andrean quarterback, whose family settled in Hobart.
Lineage aside, Merrill dominated against Merrillville, throwing for three touchdowns in a 42-13 win over the Pirates in season-opening action on Friday.
Merrill took just eight passes, completed five and the three for touchdowns were for more than 20 yards each. His two 22-yard passes went to Francis Reardon, who finished with 41 yards receiving.
Teely Rhyne, part of the 59ers' two-headed offensive monster, ran 28 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns. His longest of 64 yards was the third touchdown of the third quarter for Andrean.
"I told our guys that if we stayed the course, every year has been a battle of attrition against Merrillville, the last nine or 10 years by the fourth quarter we're spent," Niners coach Chris Skinner said. "We were a little gassed, but they fought through it."