Rustin uses early pins to vault past Oxford


OXFORD — In evenly-matched competitions, it’s often someone you don’t expect that swings the result one way or the other.

In Wednesday’s Ches-Mont League American Division dual meet at Oxford, West Chester Rustin got that surprise. Twice.

Fighting back from a 9-3 deficit, freshman Varday Jacobs pulled out Rustin’s trademark cradle

for a second-period fall at 106 pounds. Freshman Nate Johnson (113 pounds) fell behind 6-0 before cranking another cradle for the pin, and just like that, Rustin was off and running to a 47-26 victory that could’ve been much, much closer.

“I was really excited,” Jacobs said. “I knew it was a big match for our team and the kid was really good. When I heard the bench cheering, I was like, ‘let’s go, let’s get the win.’”

West Chester Rustin’s Varday Jacobs locks up a cradle for the fall at 106 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

The two freshmen were a combined 10-11 coming into the night, but set the tone for a much more experienced lineup.

“Varday and Nate gave us a huge boost,” Rustin coach Brad Harkins said. “Those two aren’t the most polished wrestlers, and they’re new to the sport, but they have heart and man do they battle. They give you a good six minutes. You can’t teach heart and they have it.”

The Golden Knights (4-0 division, 13-3 overall) didn’t look back, scoring 16 of the next 22 points behind falls from Jon Reardon (126) and Brett Kaliner (132), and a major decision from Tyler Kaliner (138).

Rustin is tied with Unionville for the division lead and Oxford (4-1, 11-4) will hope for an Indians win for a share of the division title.

“We were not taking (Oxford) lightly,” Harkins said. “They have a good, strong team, but our kids battled. I was proud of the focus they had and how they executed.”

Down 28-6, Oxford cut the margin with a technical fall from Brandon Sheffield (145), but a major by Dan Labus (152) and a pin by Ethan Harkins (160) pushed Rustin’s lead to 38-11.

That swing of winning potentially by bonus points to getting pinned in the first two bouts was too much to overcome for the Hornets.

“We knew they were the key,” Oxford’s coach Scott Gold said. “We had to win those matches. Our guys just haven’t been seasoned enough, yet.”

Oxford’s Tim Davis fights off Rustin’s Brian Kent at 182 pounds. (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media)

Oxford won three of the final four contested bouts, starting with David Cox (170), who ran a bar and pinned Collin Hurley in the second period. Tim Davis (182) followed with a takedown in sudden victory to knock off Brian Kent, 3-1, and Zach Davis (220) worked a first period fall.

Andrew Lamberjack (195) clinched the dual for Rustin with a 5-1 decision, as the No. 8 Golden Knights head home to face No. 9 Upper Darby in the first round of the Class AAA District 1 Duals, Thursday.

“We want to be battle-tested and we want to be in these environments,” Brad Harkins said.

Prior to the dual, Gold was honored for winning his 450th career dual meet in early January. He now has 455 victories and will try to add another Thursday night when his No. 15 Hornets take on No. 2 Council Rock South at Methacton.

It’s Oxford’s first appearance in the district duals since 2004.

“I told the guys after, we’re going to need the same type of thing (Thursday) and a couple other guys will have to step up,” Gold said. “All we’re losing is four seniors, so the team voted and wanted to go, and they’ll get some experience on a big stage.”

West Chester Rustin 47, Oxford 26

106- Jacobs (WCR) pinned Quin, 3:29 (6-0)

113- N. Johnson (WCR) pinned Houghton, 2:19 (12-0)

120- Horseman (OX) pinned Lourido, 4:32 (12-6)

126- Reardon (WCR) pinned Forsythe, :53 (18-6)

132- B. Kaliner (WCR) pinned Spadaro, 1:54 (24-6)

138- T. Kaliner (WCR) maj. dec. Marr, 9-1 (28-6)

145- Sheffield (OX) tech. fall Monigal, 4:16 (28-11)

152- Labus (WCR) maj. dec. Johnson, 12-4 (32-11)

160- Harkins (WCR) pinned Torres, :45 (38-11)

170- Cox (OX) pinned Hurley, 3:04 (38-17)

182- T. Davis (OX) dec. B. Kent, 3-1 SV (38-20)

195- Lamberjack (WCR) dec. Blevins, 5-1 (41-20)

220- Z. Davis (OX) pinned Harris, 1:54 (41-26)

285- Kearns (WCR) won by forfeit (47-26)

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