Although the Bacon Academy wrestling team philosophy is to approach every match with the same intensity, quad-captain Cory Geisman admitted that Thursday’s 49-24 win over ECC-large competitor NFA was especially sweet.
“NFA is always a tough competitor, so we look forward to our matches,” said Geisman. “In any sport, we look forward to NFA. Bacon and NFA kind of have a history as ECC rivals. We love competing with NFA.”
Although the Bobcats never trailed after Matt McAllister opened with a first-period pin of Wildcat 112 pounder James Tran, the Bacon victory was not assured until Tommy Scott, at 189, came through with a pin at 2:48 in the 11th bout of the match.
For the first four bouts, Bacon and NFA traded victories, although Bacon earned two pins and NFA two decisions. Trailing 5-4 after the second round, Wildcat Nick Ceccarelli at 119 earned an 8-5 decision with a late reversal and near fall.
Bacon’s 125 pounder Nick Dodge stretched the Bacon lead to 12-3 with a swift pin of NFA’s Pat Messick. but Eric Dimalanta narrowed the match scoring gap back to 12-6 with a 1-0 decision over Bobcat John Coloccio.
Sean McAllister and Brandon Holroyd swelled the Bacon advantage to 24-6 with first-period pins and Corey Geisman’s third-period reversal earned him a 5-3 decision over Wildcat Cody Murphy at 145 for a 27-6 Bacon lead.
Wildcat Nick Cipriano, arguably NFA’s top wrestler, pinned Kyle Elmy at 152, bringing Devin Covone to the mat. Covone wasted no time running up a 7-2 first period advantage over Wildcat Aaron Fabian, but at the 1:42 mark of the first period, the Bobcat 160 pounder staggered to the corner of the mat.
“I’ve just been sick the last week, just got a little dizzy and lost my footing,” said Covone, who regained his balance and returned to the center of the mat. “I was just dizzy the whole match. I wasn’t really thinking, I was just wrestling. I was going out to pin the kid.”
Covone came close but missed his pin, earning a 16-5 major victory, good for four match points for the Bobcats. With his team trailing 31-12, Wildcat 171 pounder Luke Hage kept victory within the realm of possibility, closing them to 31-18 with a pin of Deshaun Stonick.
When Scott at 189 pounds came onto the mat, he had no idea that he could clinch the match with a pin.
“I just kind of went out there and wrestled like any other match and went for it,” said Scott, who took nothing for granted although he went into the second period with a 7-1 advantage.
“There could always be a sudden change in wrestling,” said Scott. “You could be up by 10 points and then the whole match turns around and just one thing will do it. I just didn’t underestimate him and kept going after him.”
Scott added five points before his second-period pin gave the Bobcats an insurmountable 37-18 lead with three bouts to go.
After NFA 215 pounder Mike Case pinned PJ Sawicki, Bacon heavyweight Dylan Kniska and flyweight (103 pound) ended the day for the Bobcats with pins.
Pleased with his team’s victory, Bacon head coach Michael Voiland kept things in perspective.
“We’re almost where we want to be, so, yeah, they’re coming around,” said Voiland, who turned an eye to the ECC championships just over five weeks off. “We still have plenty of time. We want to keep moving forward. We don’t want to take any steps backwards. We’re starting to move along.”
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