At the buzzer, top-ranked Cleveland walked away with a 39-33 win after a pin by Chris DeBien settled the outcome over the Soddy-Daisy Trojans.
“That’s a hard-fought match when it comes down to the last bout like that,” said Cleveland coach Jake Yost. “We were swapping licks back and forth and the lead was changing back and forth. It was a good win for us.”
The win by Cleveland was payback for last December’s 35-16 loss to the Trojans.
In all, 13 ranked wrestlers — nine from Cleveland and four from Soddy-Daisy — had the capacity crowd at Cleveland on the edge of its seats waiting to see the final outcome.
The Blue Raiders walked away with pins from Austin Stevison at 132 pounds and Ezra Taylor at 138 to open the match and picked up a third at 285 from John Gaither.
Soddy picked up its first pin at 160, after winning a major decision and tech fall, to take a 15-12 lead over the Raiders. Josh Hamilton won a major decision for Cleveland at 182 after a 7-6 win by the Trojans at 170.
Another pin by Soddy at 195 gave the Trojans a 24-16 lead was erased by a forfeit at 220 to cut the gap to 24-22. Gaither put the Blue Raiders back out front 28-24 with a pin in the second period.
“We’ve got some kids on our team we need to be thankful for, especially John Gaither. He just got off the football field last Friday and he said, ‘I want to beat Soddy-Daisy.’ We’re thankful he wanted to be here tonight because without his pin, who knows what happens?”
The Cleveland lead vanished after a quick pin by Soddy at 106. Tristan Blansit made it 33-30 Cleveland with a tech fall win at 113 before Soddy came back with a 5-2 win at 120 to tie the match and set the stage for DeBien and the Trojans’ Austin Houser.
DeBien scored eight points in the first while giving up three on escapes then racked up 10 more in the second before pinning Houser with 1:23 left in the bout to make the final score 39-33 Blue Raiders.
“Chris is a stud. He goes out there with the mindset he knows he’s going to win and he forces his will on people,” said Yost. “If we’re going to be tied with one match to go we want him on the mat. We were feeling good going into that last match for sure.”
Yost said he is pleased with the win and the Raiders have taken big steps forward since their first win of the season but there is a lot of season left to go.
“I’m definitely pleased,” Yost said of the win before quickly looking down the road. “I’m definitely pleased but it’s about February. It’s about getting better, it’s about the process, it’s about continuing to improve in situations where we need to improve. I saw a lot of good things tonight but we’ve got stuff to work on.”
BLUE RAIDERS 39, TROJANS 33
(Match started at 132 Pounds)
106 — Landon Wheaton (SD) pinned Danny Nino, :38; 113 — Tristan Blansit (C) won by tech fall Mason Blevins, 15-0, 5:10; 120 — Jacob McClure (SD) dec. Taylor Bishop, 5-2; 126 — Chris DeBien (C) pinned Austin Houser, 4:37; 132 — Austin Stevison (C) pinned Conner Stiles, 2:55; 138 — Ezra Taylor (C) pinned Emory Holcomb, 1:50; 145 — Tucker Russo (SD) major dec. William Haas, 13-4; 152 — Austin Williamson (SD) won by tech fall Eli Isenhower, 15-0, 2:33; 160 — Gage Richmond (SD) pinned Aaron Oliver, 1:13; 170 — Garrett Alexander (SD) dec. Jonathan Martin, 7-6; 182 — Josh Hamilton (C) won by major dec over Tyler Hixson, 15-1; 195 — Hunter Maynor (SD) pinned Michael Lewis, :53; 220 — Ethan West (C) won by forfeit; 285 — John Gaither (C) pinned Trace McNew, 2:39.