SYLVANIA, Ohio--The Adrian College men's wrestling team spotted host Lourdes University a 6-0 lead before rallying with 35 unanswered points to earn a 35-9 non-conference victory over the Gray Wolves at the Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center on Thursday evening. This marks the Bulldogs' first win over NAIA-scholarship Lourdes in three meetings, and the program has its best start under third-year head coach Bill Schindel at 4-1 on the dual-match season.
After Ray Porter pinned freshman Mateo Diaz in 1 minute and 47 seconds at 125 pounds to give Lourdes (3-3 overall) a six-point lead, Adrian struck back quickly with a pin of its own. Freshman Elijah Sanchez tied it up at 133 with a 3:30 pin in exciting fashion. He trailed Jacob Supina 6-0 and closed within 6-3 by the end of the first period before taking control early in the second.
"I think if you talk about momentum and the willingness to fight — we get pinned at 125 and they try to carry that momentum, but then Elijah just starts clawing back (after getting nearly pinned himself)," stated Schindel. "I think the biggest thing for me was how even-keeled we were. We got taken down and we looked to score the next point and that was huge. We didn't let anything rattle us and just kept fighting.
"All of the credit goes to Coach (Ryne) Morrison and our coaching staff," he said, returning to the sidelines after the birth of his second daughter. "I am going to get credit for the win, but I had nothing to do with it. Those four guys get all the credit for keeping these guys prepared and sharp."
At 149, sophomore Noah Nieman defeated Garret Anderson with an 11-3 major decision. Nieman trailed 2-0 before getting on the scoreboard with an escape and then took a 3-2 lead on a takedown. Nieman's lead grew to 6-2 later in the first period and never looked back. With a 141-forfeit win for senior Dominic Paterra, coupled with Nieman's win, Adrian now led 16-6.
Sophomore Ethan Garcia earned a 3-1 decision against Garrett Carter at 157 to expand the lead to 19-6. Trailing 1-0, Garcia started the third period with a takedown to go up 2-1 and held on with riding time for the two-point triumph. The Bulldogs led 19-6
In a 165 bout, sophomore Michael Jacobs beat Bobby Kelley with a technical fall in 7:00, 22-7. Like most of Adrian's other bouts, Jacobs trailed early by scores of 4-0 and 6-2 in the first period. He got back into the match with a takedown, reverse and escape to close 6-5 after three minutes of action. Then he opened the second with six straight points for a commanding 11-6 edge, highlighted by a nearfall for four points by the official. Adrian sprinted out to a 24-6 advantage.
"We really try to make sure that no one is going to beat us in hustle points and no one is going to outwork us," Schindel said. "Those are two things we can control and I think we did a great job with both of those."
Both freshman Derick Duvall (174) and sophomore Devon Pingel (184) registered major decisions over their respective opponents. Duvall downed Isaac Ingram 19-6 while Pingel prevailed over Clary 13-4. The Bulldogs increased their lead to 32-6.
Like Garcia at 157, junior Zach Reynolds claimed a thrilling 3-1 victory at 197 for the Bulldogs. Reynolds and Hunter Jacks traded escapes in the first and second periods before Reynolds finished the scoring with a reversal late in the third for the decisive points. Adrian led by 29 points going into the final weight class.
"You look at it and we're losing every match we get bonus points in," Schindel said. "For a team, that's what you look for — you look for them to close the gap and look for opportunities to score."
At heavyweight, Lourdes' Alec Moore-Nash shut out sophomore Donald Moses III, 4-0.
Adrian will hit the mat again on Saturday (9 a.m.) for the Ohio Northern University Invitational in Ada.
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(Editor's note: AdrianBulldogs.com contributing writer Dominic Adams assisted in this event recap.)