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Falcons Fly High With Defeats Of #17 York, Waynesburg
Posted: 11/19/2011
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The Falcons came up big on Saturday, defeating #17 York College 22-19 and Waynesburg 19-13.

(Note: Messiah's College's celebration of the All-Time Wrestling Team's, celebrated on Saturday, November 19, 2011, will be released separately from this article.)

Grantham, PA — Saturday proved to be a big day for the Falcons, as both #17 York College and Waynesburg University were overmatched by a streaking Messiah wrestling team.

Coming off a second place finish in the Roger Williams Invitational last Saturday, the team's perfomance this Saturday cemented the team's impressive start to the 2011-12 season.

Against Waynesburg, the Falcons showed tremendous heart to overcome adversity for the win.

In a 13-7 hole heading into the 165, the turn of events would come for the Falcons in the next four matches.

Rico Plummber and Russell Jones won hard-fought overtime matches at 174 and 197, respectively. Senior Tim Stewart then made his return to the mat (after a recent injury) to defeat Cody Catalina by an 8-5 margin.

With the match now hinging on Evan Canady, the freshman rode a first period takedown and second period escape to earn a 3-2 win.

Against York, who Messiah fell to last year by the score of 18-15, Messiah started off slowly by going down 9-0 in the first two matches. The points would result from (125) Danny Lethbridge getting caught in a scramble to see his 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the third period turn into a sudden pin. Kaleb Loht, undefeated coming into the weekend, followed with mainly defensive execution to drop his match 4-3.

"After the first two (matches), I knew it would be a challenge to get back into it," said Messiah head Bryan Brunk. "We never assumed it was over, though, because we know our team has a great make-up for competition."

The Falcons would prove Brunk, starting with a major decision by (141) Victory Bracey. After (149) David Standridge battled valiantly in a losing efforts, the Falcons would roll off three straight wins- most notably through a fall by senior captain (174) Matt Cross.

Heading into the 197 lb. weight class, the teams were even at 16 points apiece. Messiah sophomore Charles Jones against a favord York opponent, Kyle Minogue. Jones used a throw to put Minogue on his back and score a sudden pin in just the first period. After the final match-up, Messiah went away victorious.

With the two wins under the their belt, the Falcons turned their attention to NCAA Division II opponent Lake Erie College. The dual was a chance to get experience for a number of the Messiah wrestlers, as the Falcons' 37 team members is their most in program history.

Though the Falcons battled throughout, a second period pin of sophomore Matt DelGallo (after he had his opponent on his back) contributed to the hypothetical 12-point swing in a momentum-swinging instance. Bright spots included Chris Williamson earning a second period fall and Devin Anderson working three takedowns in an 8-5 decision.

With the wins, Messiah (2-1) now looks forward to their annual Petrofes Invitational on Friday and Saturday, December 2-3.

The box scores from Messiah's Saturday on the mats can be found below.

Messiah 19 Waynesburg 13
125 Alex Crown (W) md. 9-1 Kyle Coblentz (M)
133 Kaleb Loht (M) md. 11-2 Cody Blumer (W)
141 Chris Williamson (M) 7-3 Mills (W)
149 Milligan (W) 3-1 s.v. Ty Kanouff (M)
157 Colin Johnston (W) 5-0 Josh Bressler (M)
165 Sam Lombardo (W) 15-8 Steve Cannon (M)
174 Rico Plummer (M) 5-3 s.v. Ryan Walters (W)
184 Tim Stewart (M) 8-5 Cody Catalina (W)
197 Russ Jones (M) 4-2 s.v. Jennings (W)
285 Evan Canady (M) 3-2 Marty Kisla (W)

Messiah 22 York 19
125 Gaccio (Y) fall 5:52 Danny Lethbridge (M)
133 Ciampi (Y) 4-3 Loht (M)
141 Victor Bracey (M) m.d. 9-1 Badman (Y)
149 Gugliotti (Y) m.d. 14-6 David Standridge (M)
157 Chris Hardenberg (M) 3-2 Spector (Y)
165 Davin Okerblom (M) 9-3 Bond (Y)
174 Matt Cross (M) fall 1:10 Heisey (Y)
184 Martocello (Y) 10-6 Craig Hogan (M)
197 Charles Jones (M) fall 1:08 Minogue (Y)
285 Saliba (Y) 6-0 DiOrio (M)

Lake Erie 26 Messiah 15
125 Gillihan (L) m.d. 15-2 Spencer Alexander (M)
133 Brunner (L) fall 3:33 Matt DelGallo (M)
141 Chris Williamson(M) fall 4:58 Ball (L)
149 Zivcic (L) m.d. 14-2 David Standridge (M)
157 Devin Anderson (M) 8-5 Tezny (L)
165 Vandermeer (L) 10-6 Jake English (M)
174 Matt Cross (M) 6-4 Green (L)
184 Linden (L) 6-3 Steve Bandstra (M)
197 Charles Jones (M) 4-3 Kelly (L)
285 Samijlenko (L) fall 3:57 Matt Ingalls (M)