Demon wrestlers rally past Davis County
BLOOMFIELD — Washington trailed host Davis County 22-18 with five matches remaining in Thursday’s non-conference dual meet, but the Demons won four of the remaining matches to pull out a 37-28 victory over the Mustangs.
Washington junior Fletcher Green started the comeback at 113 pounds. His 13-0 major decision over Davis County’s Kody Smith tied the team score at 22. Junior Tristan Pohren followed by pinning Davis County’s Chris Garrett in 55 seconds, but Davis County 126-pounder Dakota Schutter pinned Washington freshman Jarek Brown late in the second period to knot the team score at 28.
But following a double forfeit at 132 pounds, Washington senior Mitchell Hora pinned Davis County’s Bradley Jones in 1:02. Senior Matt Grote sealed the Demons’ win with a 3-2 decision over Kale Baird at 145 pounds. Grote got a takedown in the first period, but Baird escaped. Grote scored an escape in the second period, and Baird got an escape in the third, but Baird was unable to take down Grote, and the match ended with both wrestlers on their feet.
“The difference in the match was Matt getting that early takedown,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said.
Van Weelden said he was confident that his Demons could come back even after falling behind.
“We were tied 28-28 going into the last two matches, but we were pretty confident Mitchell and Matt could get victories and seal the deal for us,” he said.
Davis County won the first three matches to take a 13-0 lead in the dual, but seniors Brody Warth and Aaron Kempf received forfeits before sophomore 220-pounder Kyle Collier pinned his opponent to give the Demons an 18-13 lead. But the Mustangs won the next two matches to go back in front 22-18.
Washington also defeated Clarke 78-6 earlier in the evening. Grote pinned Clarke 145-pounder Gable Reece in the third period in the first match of the dual, and the Demons rolled to victory.
“We won the first seven matches either by pin or forfeit,” Van Weelden said. “We kind of got off to a good start there. Matt Grote got a pin and kind of set the tone for the dual.”
After juniors Tanner Knupp and Austin Latcham received forfeits at 152 and 160 pounds, respectively, sophomore Brad Skubal pinned Clarke’s Jacob Bair, who entered the match with a record of 30-6, in the third period. Worth won by forfeit, Kempf pinned his opponent, and Collier received a forfeit to give Washington a 42-0 lead.
Sophomore 106-pounder Michael Witt pinned his opponent in 27 seconds, and then Green pinned Clarke’s Austin Penick in 49 seconds to earn his 100th career victory.
“That’s a milestone a lot of kids try to achieve,” Van Weelden said. “Fletcher’s put a lot of work in, and he reached that milestone.”
Freshman Michael Ellingson won by forfeit at 120 pounds, and Pohren pinned his opponent at 126 pounds. Brown received a forfeit, and Hora pinned Clarke’s John Cutshall in 55 seconds to cap the 78-6 victory.
“We came out and wrestled pretty well,” said Van Weelden, whose team wrapped up the regular season with a dual meet record of 20-4. “It was a long bus ride, and we sat around a little bit because we wrestled second and third, so it took a while for the kids to get going, but I thought for the most part the kids wrestled well.”
Washington will travel to the Southeast Iowa Classic in Fairfield tomorrow. The tournament is generally regarded as the Southeast Conference tournament, although several other schools will also be wrestling at the meet. Then the Demons have next week off to prepare for the Class 2A sectional tournament at Mediapolis on Feb. 2.