BRISTOL TWP. – Sometimes, an upset reaches epic proportions. The Harry S Truman wrestling team pulled off just such an upset Wednesday night (Jan. 27) against visiting Neshaminy.
Trailing the Skins, 33-15, with four bouts to go on Senior Recognition Night, the Tigers not only won the last four pairings, they got bonus points in three of the four to nip Neshaminy 34-33 in the dual meet.
Truman got the win in dramatic fashion.
With his team trailing 33-30 entering the final pairing, Tigers 138-pounder Johnny Joel was leading 8-1 with time winding down on his matchup with freshman Sam Long.
With 10.6 seconds remaining in the third period, Joel needed a takedown and a major decision to get his team to a win. A 3-point decision would not be enough.
So he allowed the Skins grappler to escape then took him down just before the final gun to register a 10-2 major and a historic win for Truman wrestling.
“I was thinking I’ve been given this opportunity to get us to a win and I’ve got to take it,” said Joel. “That’s all the coaches ever tell us to do, ‘when you get the opportunity, don’t waste it. You only get one chance.’”
It’s the first time since 1984 when Neshaminy-Maple Point and Neshaminy-Langhorne combined that Truman has beaten Neshaminy. In case you are counting, that’s 32 years in between Tiger victories over the Skins.
Add in the fact that Truman was without senior Austin Vossbein (15-6) at 152 pounds and junior Alex Vendrell at 132, well, you get the picture.
Neshaminy had won three of the first four matches including an opening pin by sophomore Brock Leinbach and junior Jon Albarran’s late pin of Tigers 170-pounder Quentin Mulbah.
Truman answered back with a 58-second pin by sophomore Alex Liz and a pair of decisions by senior Justin Litz and junior Isaiah Godbold to keep things close.
The Skins, however, got six points via a Tigers’ forfeit at heavyweight and six more when Neshaminy freshman Colton Jordon pinned Dan Wright in the 106-pound matchup. While Truman junior Ernie Registre dropped a decision to Skins 113-pounder Mike Megahan, Registre got a late takedown in the match to avoid getting majored by Megahan, a District 1 medalist in 2015.
Somehow, you just knew that left the door open for the Tigers. Truman didn’t just peep through that opening, the Tigers barreled over the threshold.
Freshman Gunnar Fuss got the first six points, getting Neshaminy freshman Jackson Erb on his back only seconds into the second period. For Fuss, it was his 20th win of the season against only two losses.
Classmate Joe Goldey doesn’t have as much time on the mat as Fuss but he looked like a pro in the 126-pound pairing, scoring an 8-3 decision win over Skins senior Asaph Alexander.
Goldey’s win, his fifth of the season, brought Truman back within nine points of Neshaminy.
Still, the Tigers were staring at a 33-24 deficit with junior Chris Hall coming up to bat in the 132-pound pairing with Austin Saba. Entering the matchup with exactly five varsity wins in his career, Hall’s sixth was monumental.
Trailing the Neshaminy sophomore 4-0, he reversed the Redskin wrestler before pinning him 31 seconds into the second period.
That opened the door for Joel and like the senior 138-pounder said, he wasn’t going to waste the opportunity, not on Senior Night for the Tigers.
Contact the author at ssherman@21st-Centurymedia.com, or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter
Harry S Truman 34, Neshaminy 33
(Jan. 27 at Truman)
145 — Brock Leinbach (N) pinned Dimitriuz Leupold, 0:37 (0-6)
152 — Dustin Stone (T) dec. Joe Little, 6-0 (3-6)
160 — Vince Stabalito (N) won by forfeit (3-12)
170 — Jon Albarran (N) pinned Quentin Mulbah, 5:46 (3-18)
182 — Alex Litz (T) pinned Tom Errico, 0:58 (9-18)
195 — Justin Litz (T) dec. Ben Stern, 7-4 (12-18)
220 — Isaiah Godbold (T) dec. Kyle Osterhaudt, 4-3 (15-18)
285 — Bruce Graeber (N) won by forfeit (15-24)
106 — Colton Jordon (N) pinned Dan Wright, 4:59 (15-30)
113 — Mike Megahan (N) dec. Ernie Registre, 14-7 (15-33)
120 — Gunnar Fuss (T) pinned Jackson Erb, 2:50 (21-33)
126 — Joe Goldy (T) dec. Asaph Alexander, 8-3 (24-33)
132 — Chris Hall (T) pinned Austin Saba, 2:31 (30-33)
138 — Johnny Joel (T) maj. dec. Sam Long, 10-2 (34-33)
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