Despite a pesky Nation Ford Falcons squad that wouldn’t go quietly, the Fort Mill wrestling team was able to close out its regular season schedule with a 43-27 win over its crosstown rivals.
The Jackets led from the opening match, but struggled to keep Nation Ford from rallying during several points in the dual. The draw started with the lighter weights as Fort Mill’s Ethan Johnson and Nation Ford’s Solomon Moore led things off at 106 pounds. Johnson would get a first period pin to put the Jackets up 6-0.
Fort Mill would then get a decision from Sebastian Colon at 113 pounds and the Jackets’ Jacob Sturgeon extended that lead to 16-0 with a second period pin over Dax Stegall.
“They are tough down low,” said Nation Ford head coach Dan Snell. “Your choices catch up with you. We had some people that had a job to do, but didn’t do it.”
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Nation Ford would get on the board with a second period pin from Dylan Tindall over Adam Biehl at 126 pounds to put the Falcons on the board. The pin was the first of three straight wins for Nation Ford as Steven Johnson at 132 pounds and Joshua Paxtor at 138 would also get wins to put the score at 16-15, with a small Jackets lead.
Fort Mill bounced right back to get three straight wins of its own and take a 16-point lead at 31-15 with Josh Cizmadia (145), Jake Hart (152) and Dylan Honaker (160) getting wins for the Jackets during that stretch.
“We had a plan on how things might play out,” said Jackets’ head coach Chris Brock. “We won matches we needed to win.”
The Falcons jumped right back into things as RJ Lincoln at 170 pounds picked up a quick pin in the first period to go put Nation Ford down by just 10 points. The two teams traded wins moving forward as Yousseff Kenner got the decision at 182 pounds for Fort Mill and Steven Dodge would get a pin at 195 for Nation Ford, putting the Falcons once again within striking distance at 34-27 with two matches left.
Fort Mill’s Reese Key clinched the Jackets’ win with a first period pin over Steven Franco to make it 40-27, while Jack Kelley would finish things off for the Jackets with a 3-2 decision at heavyweight.
While Fort Mill advanced to the regional tournament, Nation Ford ended its season on a high note, defeating Ardrey Kell 54-18 in a non-region match last Wednesday night at Nation Ford.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @MacBanksFM