BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – The Clarion wrestling team clinched its first winning season in 15 years with a complete effort on Friday night, defeating Bloomsburg 30-9 on the road thanks to an abundance of bonus points. The Golden Eagles (9-4, 4-1 EWL) will finish with a winning overall record for the first time since 2002-03, and will wrap Eastern Wrestling League competition on Sunday when they host Lock Haven.
It was a night where nearly everyone had their moment, as the Golden Eagles won seven of the 10 bouts on the mat, four of them by bonus points. Two of those wins came by fall, with Avery Shay and Toby Cahill each notching pins against the Huskies. It was those extra points that allowed Clarion to overcome a 6-0 deficit to start the match.
Bloomsburg struck first by winning the first two bouts of the night, but Brock Zacherl rectified that with a huge technical fall at 141 pounds. The redshirt junior worked Shawn Orem throughout the entire bout, notching takedown after takedown to ensure bonus points. The technical was secured in the waning seconds of the third period, when Zacherl took Orem down for two points and snagged four back points to bump his advantage to 26-8. The addition of Zacherl’s riding time advantage made it 27-8 and pulled the Golden Eagles to within 6-5 in the team match.
Taylor Ortz tacked on more bonus points in the 149-pound bout, nearly shutting Braden Stahlnecker out for a 12-1 major decision. The score was relatively close after two periods, with Ortz scoring a takedown in the first period and doing a strong job of riding in the second. He eventually tilted Stahlnecker for a four-point near fall and the rout was on, as Ortz eventually built his way up to a major decision. One final takedown came in the final seconds, and the addition of the riding point put the Golden Eagles ahead 9-6 in the team match.
Avery Shay wrapped that stretch of wins when he scored a win by fall in the 157-pound, and in dramatic fashion to boot. The true freshman trailed Kevin Laubach 4-2 entering the third period but gathered himself for a two-point takedown just before time expired, sending the bout to sudden victory. Shay remained the aggressor in the overtime period, taking several shots at Laubach before finally connecting for a takedown. He got Laubach in a dangerous position and worked him first for back points, and eventually scored the pin to open up a 15-6 lead for the Golden Eagles.
The Huskies claimed the 165-pound bout in a tiebreaker after two overtime periods, but Dom Rigous got Clarion back on track and put a big dent in Bloomsburg’s comeback hopes. In his low-scoring bout with Kyle Murphy, he got the only point he needed with an escape to start the second period. Rigous began the third in the top position and rode Murphy out for the full two minutes, picking up the riding time point and a 2-0 decision. Greg Bulsak followed with a 3-2 decision in the 184-pound bout, scoring an escape and a takedown in the second period to beat Trevor Allard, and Dustin Conti clinched the team match with a decision at 197 pounds. Cahill closed out the night with his sixth fall of the season and second in as many bouts, getting on top of Bruce Graeber just 1:09 into their bout to close the win.
Clarion 30, Bloomsburg 9
125: Willy Girard (Bloomsburg) over Gavin Park (Clarion) (Dec 9-7)
133: Andy Schutz (Bloomsburg) over Roshaun Cooley (Clarion) (Dec 7-0)
141: Brock Zacherl (Clarion) over Shawn Orem (Bloomsburg) (TF 27-8 6:50)
149: Taylor Ortz (Clarion) over Braden Stahlnecker (Bloomsburg) (MD 12-1)
157: Avery Shay (Clarion) over Kevin Laubach (Bloomsburg) (SV-1 (Fall) 7:48)
165: Nate Newberry (Bloomsburg) over Max Wohlabaugh (Clarion) (TB-2 (RT) 4-3)
174: Dom Rigous (Clarion) over Kyle Murphy (Bloomsburg) (Dec 2-0)
184: Greg Bulsak (Clarion) over Trevor Allard (Bloomsburg) (Dec 3-2)
197: Dustin Conti (Clarion) over Logan Womelsdorf (Bloomsburg) (Dec 3-1)
285: Toby Cahill (Clarion) over Bruce Graeber (Bloomsburg) (Fall 1:09)