Falcons rough up Rams
The Connellsville wrestling team’s dominance over Section 2-AAA opponents continued on Wednesday night as the Falcons picked up victory number 501 with a 66-6 thumping of visiting Ringgold.
“We were a little stale at a couple of weights, but overall we looked pretty good,” Connellsville coach Tommy Dolde said.
The Falcons benefitted from four forfeits as Kody Pujia (112), Ashtin Primus (135), Andy Schleihauf (189) and Justin Haines (275) all got the easy wins.
The match started at 125 and Connellsville’s Mike Zavada battled Frank Spahr for a full six minutes before securing a 10-6 win to get the Falcons off and running with a 3-0 lead.
“Mike was sick, but he looked real good through the first two periods then he got winded,” Dolde said. “But he sucked it up and he showed a lot of heart.”
It didn’t take long for Connellsville’s lead to swell as Eric McGinnis (130) needed just 48 seconds to shoulder Justin Secrist.
With the score 15-0, the Rams (5-15) sent out two of their best wrestlers in back-to-back matches. At 140, Mitch Pankiewicz got the Rams on the board as he scored a reversal in the third to beat Zach Snyder 4-2.
Connellsville restored order when Josh Martin (145) held off a tough Dan Lutz for a 7-3 decision.
“I thought we wrestled well,” Ringgold coach Bob Bove said. “We won at 140 and we were close at 145. I was happy with their efforts.”
After Martin’s win, the Falcons put it away with three straight pins as Buddy Sines (152) planked Brian Miller with 23 seconds to go in the bout. Then Adam Knepper followed by using all of 32 seconds to flatten Steve Davis at 160. At 171, Jason Doppelheuer dominated Gabe Jones before pinning him in 51 seconds.
Ringgold did have one more highlight as Matt D’Eramo (215) scored a last-second takedown to break a 3-3 tie and earn a 5-3 win over Josh Brewer.
“Josh probably could have taken that match to overtime and won it, but he is experimenting with some different things,” Dolde said.
“We were able to pull one out at 215,” Bove said. “We are a very young team and we are struggling to fill spots. But we at least battled them.”
When the weights shifted down, Tyler Nicholson (103) caught an aggressive Nate Blackman and pinned him with five seconds left in the first. Then P.J. Holden (119) wrapped it up with a first-period pin over Ian Mathies as Connellsville improved to 6-1 on the season.
“It doesn’t matter who you are wrestling,” Dolde said. “You always have to go out and prepare the same way.”
The Falcons will head south this weekend as they take part in the Battlefield Duals in Virginia. Ringgold will travel to Uniontown on Wednesday.