Falcons Fly High With Defeats Of #17 York, Waynesburg
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(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
Messiah 22 York 19
Lake Erie 26 Messiah 15