Rare full lineup sparks Octorara rout of Kennett


ATGLEN — Effort has not typically been an issue for the Octorara wrestling team, while numbers, well, they’re a different story.

Often missing multiple weights, Octorara, for the first time since 2009, contested every weight against Kennett, Wednesday night.

The result was a runaway 54-17 defeat of the visiting Blue Demons in the Ches-Mont American Division tilt.

Octorara (1-0 division, 1-0 overall) was on the other side of things, for a change, accepting five forfeits from Kennett (0-1, 0-4).

“It’s been a three or four year progression and we’re headed in the right direction,” Octorara coach Mark Durante said. “We’re not there yet, but we’ve taken our poundings over the years, but the numbers are coming. I can work with numbers, I can’t work with forfeits, and we’re just sticking to the plan.”

Octorara’s Noah Hoopes scrambles with Kennett’s Jake Anderson. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

The Braves wrestled 118 dual meets since the last time they filled a lineup, the previous in the Class AA District championship against Harriton. Octorara was also fighting a three-meet losing streak against Kennett, and got off to a a strong start.

Octorara’s Caden Dalton (152 pounds) fell behind 5-1 in the second period, but scored the final six points, including a takedown in the sudden victory session, to get the Braves on the board with a 7-5 decision.

“My mentality is I don’t accept losing,” Dalton said. “I keep fighting until I get the win or I can’t fight anymore.”

Scott Burridge got his 71st career win with a second-period fall, and after three straight forfeits, Octorara was up 27-0.

Kennett won four of the nine contested bouts, two coming from its big men. Bryan Castaneda (220) earned an overtime decision and Collin Watson (285) followed with a first-period pin.

“We have some things to work on,” Kennett coach Tyrone Johnson said. “I didn’t like how we wrestled on the mat. I didn’t like how we didn’t finish and score on our feet and didn’t take clean shots.”

A forfeit and a 45-second pin by Seth Hoopes (113) put Octorara up by 30 before the best matchup of the night took place at 120.

There, Kennett junior Logan Reigel scored the only takedown in the first and tacked on a pair of near-fall points for an early 4-0 lead and held on for dear life the rest of the way for a 5-3 decision over Liam Babauta. It was the fifth matchup between the two, and fourth win for Reigel.

Kennett’s Logan Reigel trips Octorara’s Liam Babauta for a first-period takedown. (Nate Heckenberger- For Digital First Media)

Kennett’s Drew Massetti, a fifth-place finisher at regionals last year, was held out due to an injury, but the senior is off to an impressive 6-0 start.

“He’s a lot more focused,” Johnson said. “That’s the No. 1 thing right now. He’s always been a hard worker, but he’s even stepped that up. After last year’s performance at regionals he set some goals for himself and he wasn’t satisfied with what he did there.”

Kennett’s Gerhardt Reiter followed Reigel’s decision with a first-period pin, but Octorara’s Reilly Nuckols (132) and Noah Hoopes (145) finished the scoring for the night with a pin and decision, respectively.

“It’s funny, I’ve never really been in that position where I tell kids they don’t have to weigh in because we have too many kids,” Durante said. “It’s nice to have options. We have backups throughout the lineup and that puts us in position to keep matches close or even win. We’re usually on the other side of that, so it’s nice to see.”

Octorara 54, Kennett 17

152- Dalton (OCT) dec. Burns, 7-5 SV (3-0)

160- Burridge (OCT) pinned Whyte, 2:47 (9-0)

170- Sharpless (OCT) won by forfeit (15-0)

182- Troop (OCT) won by forfeit (21-0)

195- Jackson (OCT) won by forfeit (27-0)

220- Castaneda (KEN) dec. Allison, 3-1 SV (27-3)

285- Watson (KEN) pinned Brown, 2:00 (27-9)

106- Quinn (OCT) won by forfeit (33-9)

113- S. Hoopes (OCT) pinned Becerra, :45 (39-9)

120- Reigel (KEN) dec. Babauta, 5-3 (39-12)

126- Reiter (KEN) pinned Leslie, 1:11 (39-18)

132- Nuckols (OCT) pinned Perez, 3:11 (45-18)

138- Wheeler (OCT) won by forfeit (51-18)

145- N. Hoopes (OCT) dec. Anderson, 11-4 (54-18)*

*Kennett was deducted a team point for a uniform violation

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