Bulldogs too much for Titans to handle on the mat
CRAIG — Everything clicked this week for the wrestlers of Moffat County High School as they took to the mat with a singular goal of walking out of the gym victorious against Coal Ridge.
The Bulldogs dominated the visiting Titans, 61-12, in a Tuesday evening dual that saw the team fight hard and, in many cases, finish off their opponents fast.
Out of the nine Moffat County varsity competitors, six of them took their wins by fall — Jay Carrico (106 pounds), Drake Zimmerman (132), Indy Byrnes (138), Miki Klimper (160), Stelios Peroulis (170) and Tanner Gilliland (195).
“They wrestled tough, just like I expected,” said coach Tanner Linsacum. “January’s a tough month, but we’ve been working hard.”
Moffat 126-pound Issik Herod saw some fierce competition in Coal Ridge’s Lane Nelson, with the Titan taking the first round, 6-2, but Herod showed he’s not ranked seventh in the state for nothing, returning the favor in the second round and going full blast in the third, only denied the win by pin thanks to the clock, ahead, 10-9, to give his team a well-earned three points.
Hugo Hernandez (152) took control against Eddy Baez, outlasting him throughout three rounds, 12-2, while forfeiture in the 285-pound category got Coal Ridge its only other points of the night beyond a pin by Jacx Power over Elias Peroulis in the 145 bout.
Coal Ridge coach Kalvin Deere was flummoxed by his wrestlers’ execution.
“We’re coming off a brilliant performance on Saturday, so I don’t know what team showed up tonight,” he said.
The Titans’ solid work in Rangely included eight of their 10 grapplers placing over the weekend, but Deere said he didn’t see the same kind of energy Tuesday night.
“It’s definitely not indicative of how our season has been going, probably the opposite of everything we’ve seen this season,” he said.
A roster shifting because of injuries and students relocating has been a factor for Coal Ridge, and 18 of Moffat County’s points came from forfeits. Even so, Deere credited Power, Nelson and Logan Stephens (170) with taking their matches all the way even if they didn’t get the win.
Coal Ridge and Moffat County will both be attending Rifle’s Rumble in the Rockies this weekend and will see each other in the first round.
“Linsacum’s done a good job putting this team together, so hopefully we can give them a little better showing on Saturday,” Deere said.
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