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Early pins lead Rustin to decisive win over Octorara

ATGLEN—Rustin got the fall in four of the first five contested bouts, collected a forfeit at 106, and a tech fall at 113 to jump out to a commanding 39-6 lead, then coasted to a 54-18 win over host Octorara (4-4) in a Ches-Mont American dual meet.

“Everyone was on attack and pushing the pace tonight,” said Rustin head coach Brad Harkins. “That’s what we like to see. We obviously have areas of improvement, like any team, but we’ll iron some things out and get to work on our goals for the season.”

Rustin (7-1) got off on the right foot, with Dan Labus working a power half for the fall in 3:39 at 160, then Ethan Harkins got the opening takedown and added a pair of reversals to get the 6-3 decision over the Braves’ Jarek Wasko at 170. Andrew Rice made it three in a row for the Golden Knights, locking up a crossface cradle for a second period pin at 182.

Octorara finally got on the board at 195. Brandon Jackson scored the opening takedown, then turned Zack Jones with a butcher, getting the slap of the mat at the 50-second mark.

“Brandon’s come a long way for us,” said Octorara coach Mark Durante. “He didn’t start wrestling until his freshman year, and missed most of last year with an injury. So it’s pretty impressive to see him wrestle like that with barely three years in the sport.”

The Walsh brothers put Rustin back on the winning track with back to back pins. Owen Walsh used a half for a second period fall at 220, while Gabe needed a mere 36-seconds to earn a pin at 285.

Gabe Walsh with the fall at 285

Jimmy King kept it rolling for the Golden Knights with a dominant performance at 113. King hit an ankle pick for the opening takedown, then ran a double bar for three back points and a 5-0 lead, then worked a tilt to make it 7-0 at the end of a period. A leg cradle, a couple more tilts and a takedown later, and King had the 15-0 teach fall.

Jimmy King with the leg cradle

At 120, the Braves’ Seth Hoopes stopped the bleeding, building a 6-2 lead before picking up six for Octorara with a second period pin.

Liam Babauta made it two in a row for Octorara, twice hitting fireman’s carries for takedowns before tossing in a half to get a pin in 2:43.

Liam Babauta looks for the fall for Octorara

“That has been his bread and butter lately,” said Durante. “I wish we could get more five-point moves out of instead of twos. We’re working to try to get him to score more on top, and not just get takedowns and ride.”

After Alex Pratzner used a bar arm for a pin at 132, the Knights Greg Kosmidis and the Braves’ Ryan Kernan battled in a doozy of a match.

Kernan opened the scoring with a takedown, but Kosmidis broke free for an escape to make it 2-1 at the end of one, then again to start the second period. Kosmidis got the takedown with a Merkle, but Kernan quickly reversed to make it 4-4.

With Kosmidis up 5-4 early in the third, the pair traded reversals, and the Knight worked a tilt to make it a three point lead. Kernan worked an escape, and hit a headlock, but was tagged for an illegal hold to make it 11-7. Kernan eventually got a takedown, but couldn’t turn Kosmidis and the Knight held on for the 11-9 victory.

“Greg is the kind of kid that is going to give you everything he’s got every time out,” said Harkins. “He’s a scrapper. A little unorthodox, no doubt, but you can’t ask for more as far as effort goes.”

Bryan Hess followed with an 8-0 major decision over Troy Sharpless at 145.

Bryan Hess is in control of Troy Sharpless

The dual saved the best for last, with a pair of regional qualifiers squaring off in Rustin’s Tyler Kaliner and Octorara’s Caden Dalton. Scoreless for much of the first period, Kaliner got on the board with a single leg takedown on the edge and at the buzzer for a 2-0 lead after one.

Octorara’s Caden Dalton (left) and Rustin’s Tyler Kaliner tie up.

Kaliner took down to start the second, and upped his lead to 5-0 with an escape and takedown, and though Dalton picked up a reversal in the third, it wasn’t enough, and Kaliner held on for the 5-2 decision.

“I wasn’t happy with the way I wrestled to start the year, so I knew this would be a good match for me to get back where I want to be,” said Kaliner. “I knew he’s a tough kid, so I knew I had to work hard. I was getting in on the single, but wasn’t finishing. But then at the end of the period, I saw the opening and got it.”

Rustin 54 Octorara 18

160—Labus (Rustin) pin Camerote 3:39 6-0
170—Harkins (Rustin) dec Wasko 6-3 9-0
182—Rice (Rustin) pin Troop 3:19 15-0
195—Jackson (Octorara) pin Jones 0:50 15-6
220—O Walsh (Rustin) pin Wrigley 3:51 21-6
285—G Walsh (Rustin) pin Goins 0:36 27-6
106—Viarengo (Rustin) by forfeit 33-6
113—King (Rustin) tech fall Thompson 15-0, 6:00 38-6
120—Hoopes (Octorara) pin Baldesari 3:29 38-12
126—Babauta (Octorara) pin Lourido 2:43 38-18
132—Pratzner (Rustin) pin Leslie 1:44 44-18
138—Kosmidis (Rustin) dec Kernan 11-9 47-18
145—Hess (Rustin) maj dec Sharpless 8-0 51-18
152—Kaliner (Rustin) dec Dalton 5-2 54-18

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