Clarion Grapplers Upend Curwensville (02/04/2018)

Seth Nellis with one of the Bobcats’ three pins against Curwensville.

(By CSZ Sports Writer Kenn Staub)  The Clarion Bobcat wrestler team won their third consecutive dual meet when they upended the Curwensville Golden Tide at home on Tuesday, Jan. 30 match between the Curwensville Golden Tide. With each team forfeiting three weight classes and a double forfeit at 106-pounds, Clarion won the dual on the mat, winning five of seven contested bouts, three by pin, to outscore Curwensville 42-27. Going into the match Bobcat head coach Brian Luton wanted his team to perform at their potential. In this respect, he was more than satisfied, saying “I thought we probably had our best performance as a team tonight.”

Clarion found themselves in an 18-0 hole at the start, as Curwensville’s Blake Passarelli (120-pounds) and Mason Gasper (126-pounds) received back-to-back forfeits to open the match and Zach Holland (132-pounds) followed with a pin of Bobcat Colton Zacherl toward the end of the first period (1:58).

Cutter Boggess gets the pin.

The next two contests saw the teams exchange six point victories. Clarion’s Cutter Boggess stuck Caleb Stiles in the first period (1:26) of their 138-pound bout, after which Curwensville’s Adam Straw received a forfeit at 145-pounds to make the team score 24-6 in the Golden Tides favor.

It was almost all Clarion the rest of the way, as the Bobcats came away with team points in seven of the remaining eight weight classes.

Ryley McMasters tries to convert a single leg attempt.

Ryley McMasters got the ball rolling for Clarion, taking a 4-3 decision over Jake McCracken at 152-pounds. The first period of this closely contested bout was scoreless until McMasters used a single leg shot to take McCracken down with less than ten seconds remaining. McMasters, starting the second period on bottom, scored two more points with a reversal, but was himself reversed when McCracken slipped through a headlock. Heading into the third McMasters held a 4-2 lead, which was cut to a single point advantage when McCracken escaped with about thirty seconds remaining in the contest. From there, McMasters fended off several McCracken takedown attempts to score the win. Coach Luton praised McMasters for “fighting off some tough wrestling late in the third period to get the victory.” “That’s a senior showing his experience, imposing his will on his opponent,” continued Luton.

Nick Porciello controls his opponent.

Nick Porciello complemented McMasters’s close win with one of his own, taking a 3-0 decision against Golden Tide 160-pounder Cole Bressler. Neither wrestler was able to generate much offense in a scoreless first period and during the second Porciello rode Bressler for much of the two minutes but came up empty on several tilt attempts. Porceillo, starting in the down position to begin the third, scored the first point of the bout with an escape and then countered a Bressler shot with nine seconds remaining for a takedown to secure the victory. Coach Luton noted Porciello “wrestled his most fundamentally sound match of the season against Bressler and was rewarded with a decision over one of Curwensville’s better wrestlers.” “He rode Bressler the entire second period which helped him take control of a tight match,” added Luton.

Camden Boggess works from the top.

With Curwensville’s lead cut in half, 24-12, Bobcatgrappler Camden Boggess squared off against the Golden Tide’s Nick Holbert at 170-pounds. Boggess took Holbert down midway through the first period to score two. Starting from the down position, Boggess took a 4-0 lead with an early escape and chalked up another two when he tilted Holbert, exposing his back. Holbert chose neutral to start the third period, with both wrestlers on their feet. Boggess relentlessly pursued Holbert throughout the final stanza, finally taking the Curwensville wrestler down and pinning him at 4:49.

Clarion 182-pounder Seth Nellis tied the bout 24-24 when he made short work of Gage Roos, sticking him in less than a minute (0:56).

The Bobcats’ run continued with Ben Smith (195-pounds) and Colton Stimmell (220-pounds) accepting consecutive forfeits. The forfeit to Stimmell made the score 36-24 for the Bobcats, sealing victory.

The final contested bout of the match at 285-pounds was a meeting of two state ranked wrestlers, Clarion’s Tom Wurster, #21 at 220-pounds and bumping up a weight class from his usual spot in the line-up, against the #10 285-pounder, Steve McClure. McClure, visibly larger than his Clarion opponent, took the Bobcat wrestler down early in the first period but was unable to turn him or score any other points due to Wurster’s dogged resistance. In fact, McClure surrendered a point to Wurster when he was called for an illegal hold, making the score 2-1 heading to the second. McClure began the second period on top but couldn’t score any points against Wurster’s resistance from the bottom. With the score 2-1, McClure stared the third period on the bottom and increased his lead to 3-1 with an escape. The two wrestlers sparred on their feet for the remainder of the bout, with the only point coming when McClure was again penalized for an illegal hold to set the final at 3-2. Coach Luton though Wurster “had a great match against Curwensville’s top dog,” especially considering he moved up in weight to make the bout happen. Luton noted that “though Wurster wasn’t able to pull out a victory I felt he took a big step forward and proved he can go with anyone.”

The Bobcats’ 113-pounder Login Dehner received a forfeit to close out the evening, making the team score 42-27 in Clarion’s favor.

Coach Luton summarized the match by saying, “Fundamentals have been a big part of what we’ve been preaching as a staff and tonight I think we saw that come through. We are learning how to control the flow of a match and use strategy to help us find ways to win.”

Clarion’s dual meet record now stands at 9-4. The will finish the regular season with two matches at home, hosting Ridgway on Thursday, Feb. 8 and celebrating Senior Night against Redbank Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 13, before closing on the road on Friday, Feb. 16 against Sheffield.

(* all rankings from – 01/24/2018)