CLARION — On an extremely cold night outside the gymnasium, the wrestling action inside proved to have a quick turnover down the weight classes.
In a meeting of two squads with low numbers, Punxsy dominated host Clarion, 54-18, by claiming five victories in six wrestled matches in the small card affair.
“The guys on the mat tonight looked great,” noted Chucks head coach Eric Eddy. “Clarion has some holes in their lineup, but I thought we wrestled really good.”
Freshmen Eli Lambiotte (106) and Kaleb Young (126) pinned their opponents to highlight the Chucks’ individual victories.
Joel Bowers (120) scored his way to a tech fall win, with Perry Arrington (138) adding a major decision. Travis Perry (170) recorded the other non-forfeit Punxsy win with a decision.
The 14-weight class match was cut by more than half. Due to low numbers on both sides, a combined seven matchups were lost to forfeits with another having no grappler by either side.
The forfeits started early.
In the first three bouts, Punxsy garnered the first three such six-point gifts.
Starting at 145, Jeff Bottenhorn, Justice Vance (152) and Keegan Fischer (160) helped put the Chucks ahead, 18-0, with forfeits and a lead the visitors would never relinquish.
In the first wrestled bout at 170, Travis Perry took the mat against the Bobcats’ Tommy Klawuhn.
Perry took down the home grappler in the first period before having an escape and a second takedown for a 5-1 lead after two periods.
Perry scored a reverse and added three near fall points to extend his advantage.
Klawuhn answered with his own reverse before the Punxsy wrestler escaped and added his third takedown for a 13-7 decision win.
“Perry did real well. He did a good job on his feet and wrestled his match,” commented Eddy. “He did exactly what he needed to do.”
Following the lone no match in the 182-pound class, Clarion claimed its only three matches of the night.
The Bobcats’ Zach Sintobin (195) received a forfeit as the first home win.
Andrew Bigley recorded the only home wrestled victory by pinning Punxsy’s Austin Covatch in one minute.
Clarion was given its final points of the night via a forfeit to Zach Huet at 285.
Leading 21-18, Punxsy rattled off victories over the final six weights including four wrestled wins.
Freshman Eli Lambiotte continued his excellent run of results in the next bout. The 106-pound Punxsy lightweight took little time to earn his win.
Lambiotte took down Clarion’s Caleb Bailey early in the first period. The young wrestler turned it into two back points and went right into a fall, taking only 1:21 for a Chucks’ 27-18 leading margin.
At 113, Andrew Bullers received the Chucks’ fourth forfeit.
Last year’s PIAA state qualifier, Bowers, showed his mettle against the home team’s 120-pound entry Adrian Weber.
Bowers went out to a 5-0 first-stanza lead with a takedown and three back points.
Starting in the down position for the second period, the junior escaped to add a pair of takedowns and three near fall tallies to open a 13-1 difference.
At neutral, Bowers took down his foe once early, let him up only to take him down to end the match for a 17-2 tech fall result.
“Bowers and Lambiotte had some real nice performances,” said the Punxsy coach.
The night’s best two bouts came to the mat next for the 126 and 138 matches wrapped around the final forfeit.
“Clarion has some real tough kids at 126 and 138 in Riley Gunter and Jacob Troutman. They are their two best wrestlers they have at those weights,” pointed out the Chucks coach.
In the 126 match, the other top Punxsy freshman, Kaleb Young, would face off with Gunter.
Young scored an early takedown and rode Gunter the rest of the first period for a 2-0 lead.
Beginning down, Young reversed the Clarion wrestler early in the second frame. The Chuck ground out Gunter before pinning him in 3:32.
“Kaleb stayed patient on top tonight and that is what we want to see from him,” said Eddy.
Brett Starr was given the final forfeit for the Chucks at 132.
In the final of the six wrestled matches, sophomore Perry Arrington would be Troutman of Clarion’s opponent.
Troutman shot in for an early takedown and two-point lead.
Arrington picked up the one-point escape to start the second stanza. He followed it with a takedown and three near fall points for his own 5-1 advantage.
From a neutral start, the Punxsy second-year grappler picked up a takedown, two back points and a three-point near fall to earn the 13-2 major decision over Troutman.
The Arrington victory completed the evening’s abbreviated action and the 54-18 Punxsy final tally victory.
Last Saturday, Punxsy took part in the Bellefonte Tournament.
The Chucks went 2-3 as a team with victories over Crestwood and State College.
Weekend highlights will be in the Thursday edition of The Spirit.