Rifle wrestlers defeat Moffat
RIFLE – At the start of the season, the Rifle-Moffat County wrestling dual wasn’t even on the schedule. But Bears’ head coach John Wisniewski battled to get it in, pulling some strings to get it added late in the year and making sure the meet with the Bulldogs counted.Good thing for Rifle.On Thursday night, which also happened to be senior night at Rifle, the Bears recorded five pins and two decisions for a 43-36 win over Moffat, the first win over the Bulldogs in over six years.
“I have never beat Moffat County and even before my time, in my brother’s time, we haven’t. We haven’t beat them for a long time,” said Tim Long, Rifle’s 152-pound senior who pinned Moffat’s Jake Brickler in 3:46. “I was pumped up. Everybody on the team was pumped up. We have been talking about Moffat for a long time.”Rifle, which is ranked No. 8 in Class 4A state wrestling according to “On the Mat,” entered the meet with three open weight divisions, handing the Bulldogs (No. 9) 18 forfeit points in the meet. Wisniewski knew the Bulldogs would have an advantage, so he told his team what to do.”Before the meet I told them the only way we can win is pins, pins, pins, and we came out fired up and that’s what we did,” said Wisniewski, whose team carried its momentum from five dual wins last weekend in a tournament in Longmont.With the meet tied at 36 and two matches to go, Rifle’s Brandon Buhlman took the mat with Levi Weber for a back-and-forth 140-pound showdown. Buhlman jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but Weber tied it at six with a minute left in the match. Buhlman was awarded the final point as time ran out and won with a 9-8 decision. Derek Fruetel then battled Drew Turner in the final match of the night. The match was stopped multiple times in an attempt to stop the blood coming out of Fruetel’s nose – which appeared to have been turned on like a faucet.
Approaching the 5-minute blood stoppage time limit mandated by the rules, Fruetel hung in long enough to pull out a 19-9 major decision and give the Bears the win.”We weren’t ready to wrestle tonight, said Moffat County head coach Roman Gutierrez. “We went to our backs and they didn’t come off. They deserved to beat us and hopefully we can adjust by next week.”Earlier in the meet, matches were just as intense.After falling behind 5-1 after the first period, a relentless Dano Fugita wrestled his way to a winning pin in the 130-pound match in a time of 5:10.Abram Dennis, at 160 pounds, took an early 8-3 lead at the end of the first period before pinning Lyle Schaffner in 4:33.
In the 215-pound battle, Tad Davis took Josh Satterwhite to the third period before pinning him with 54 seconds left in the match. Shifting to the light weights, James Martinez, at 103, pinned Brandon Maiqatter in 1:06.Moffat recorded three pins on the night, with the first coming in the 189-pound weight class when Nick Navratil pinned Kyle Coombs in 1:03 – the quickest match of the night.At 125 pounds, Jake Breslin pinned Devon Fruetel in 3:50 and Troy Vernon pinned Rifle’s Mario Navarro in 3:54.
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