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Bobcat Grapplers Down Keystone 40-19 (12/27/2017)

(By CSZ Sports Writer Kenn Staub)  The Clarion Bobcat wrestling team came from behind to defeat host Keystone 40-19 on Wednesday, Dec. 20 to capture their first dual meet of the young 2017-2018 season. The team victory was the product of wins in four of the seven contested bouts and three Keystone forfeits. All of the Bobcats’ head-to-head wins secured bonus points, among them three pins and a major decision. Three weight classes were not contested (106-, 113-, and 126-pounds).

Nick Porciello works from the top position. (photograph by Susan Staub)

Keystone got on the board first, going up 6-0, when Ross Moser accepted a forfeit at 160-pounds. Action wasn’t lacking in the next contest, which saw Clarion’s 170-pounder Nick Porciello pitted against Donovan Edmonds. The first period of their bout was scoreless, with Porciello fending off two deep single leg shots by Edmonds to stymie the Keystone wrestler. Porceillo chose to start the second period in the down position, scoring an escape during the first thirty seconds and then a takedown once on his feet to go up 3-0.  Edmonds escaped before the period ended, making the score 3-1 heading into the final stanza. The third period was scoreless until less than thirty seconds remained. In a flurry of action, Edmonds reversed Porciello and got exposure points to take a 6-3 lead. Porciello wasn’t finished, reversing Edmonds but then proved unable to capitalize on his good fortune, setting the bout’s final score at 6-5.

Clarion cut into Keystone’s 9-0 lead when 182-pounder Camden Boggess used a cradle to pin Christian Pierotti in the first period (1:35), giving the Bobcats a much needed six points. This was Boggess’s first win of the season, evening his record at 1-1. Keystone extended their lead to 15-6 in the 195-pound bout that followed when two-time regional qualifier Tyler VanTassel stuck Clarion’s Seth Nellis at 1:24 of the first period.

The Bobcats’ Tom Wurster was unopposed at 220-pounds as the result of Panther head coach Tim Curtis making the real-time decision to bump Nathan Redding into the heavyweight slot. Wurster’s season record is now 1-1. With Keystone’s match lead narrowed to 15-12, Redding faced off against Clarion’s Matt Coleman. Coleman was game, holding strong against the more polished Redding throughout their bout. Redding would ultimately prevail, scoring five takedowns on his way to a 15-3 major decision that gave the Panther’s a 19-12 lead. These four team points would be Keystone’s last of the match.

Wyatt Stimmell controls his opponent. (photograph by Susan Staub)

Clarion’s comeback began with Login Dehner accepting a forfeit at 120-pounds, bringing Keystone’s lead down to a single point, 19-18. This was Dehner’s second forfeit win in as many bouts, making his record 2-0. The Bobcats took the dual meet lead immediately thereafter as Colton Zacherl received a forfeit at 132-pounds, putting Clarion up 24-19. The forfeit was Zacherl’s first victory of the season, evening his record at 1-1.

The 138-pound bout saw the Bobcats tally six more team points when Wyatt Stimmell, in his first action of the season, used a half nelson to stick Dan Greil early in the second period (2:17).

Cutter Boggess seeks an advantage. (photograph by Susan Staub)

Cutter Boggess gave the Bobcats a 34-19 advantage with a major decision over Daniel Rodgers at145-pounds. Boggess scored a takedown twenty-five seconds into the bout and then rodeRodgers through the remainder of the first period. Leading 2-0 Boggess began the second period n the down position from where he reversed Rodgers and exposed the Keystone wrestler’s back to take a 7-0 lead. The third period would prove eventful as far as setting the bout’s final score. Boggess started on top but was reversed by Rodgers within sixteen seconds, giving the Keystone grappler two points.  After this it was all Boggess, as he scored an escape, took Rodgers down, and then used an arm bar for three near fall points to win 15-3. Boggess is now undefeated at 2-0, having sored a pin in his first outing of the season the previous week against Brookville.

Frank Weber moments before pinning his opponent. (photograph by Susan Staub)

Frank Weber finished off the match with the Bobcats’ third pin and set the final match at 40-19 when he collected a fall midway through the second period (2:31) of his 152-pound bout with Jonathan Lee. With this win, Weber’s season record stands at 1-1.

Bobcat head coach Brian Luton described the team’s performance as “a little bumpy,” noting that his squad “lacked some focus and made some mistakes.” This resulted in “some poor decisions that cost us a match or two that was winnable.” To this end, Luton feels his wrestlers need to improve at recognizing and capitalizing on high percentage scoring opportunities.

Overall, however, he was pleased with the team’s attitude, effort, and coachability. “Our wrestlers have been very receptive to constructive criticism and making sure they don’t repeat mistakes. This group always fights and puts forth effort. They have a drive to win and improve that will ultimately pay dividends as the year progresses.” He singled out Camden Boggess and Frank Weber for wrestling with intensity and turning in dominant performances. Luton is also hopeful that Cutter Boggess and Wyatt Stimmell can parlay their strong early season performances into confidence that will help carry them through the rest of the season.

Luton summed up the evening by saying “it was nice to see them [his wrestlers] overcome some adversity but at the same time we put ourselves into some tough situations, but a win is a win.”

The Clarion wrestling team is now 1-1 this season. They are next scheduled to compete at the Redbank Valley Duals on Saturday, Dec. 30.