Chucks dominant while blowing out Clarion, 58-15

CLARION — Maybe the lights should go out on the Chucks more often.

After a 38-minute lighting delay that occurred three bouts into its match Tuesday night, the Punxsy wrestling team competed in an inspired way, dismantling Clarion on the road, 58-15.

Nearly all of the Chucks wrestled their best match of the season, as from top to bottom, Tuesday was one of Punxsy's strongest showings this season.

Tuesday's match followed Saturday's 3-2 record at the Lewistown Duals. After that strong showing, Punxsy advanced right into an even better performance Tuesday.

"They came out real strong. We had a nice weekend," Punxsy head coach Eric Eddy said. "We had only one day in the (practice) room after that, but the things we worked on in the (practice) room (Monday) night showed up tonight. It's good when that happens."

What helped Punxsy win a number of bouts was its conditioning. The Chucks (10-10) finished each bout strong, especially at 140 pounds, were sophomore Caesar Maruca appeared headed toward a 3-1 loss to Joey Beck.

Down 3-1, Maruca used a straight double-leg and powered through Beck for a takedown to Beck's back with about 38 seconds left. Not only did Maruca tie the bout with the takedown, but he took a 5-3 lead thanks to a pair of back points.

"Caesar came through huge," Eddy said. "That was a real gut-check for Caesar. To get the takedown to tie it up right to his back ... was beautiful."

Maruca remained strong on top for the final 30 seconds, earning the 5-3 victory.

"The kids did a great job tonight wearing people out," Eddy said. "The longer the match went on, the more it favored us."

The Chucks also received a strong finish from Tyler Titus at 215 pounds. Titus was behind 3-0 with 48 seconds left in the second period while wrestling Andrew Bigley during the first bout of the match.

Titus was able to reverse Bigley onto his back, and upon receiving two back points, Titus was ahead 4-3.

Titus needed 35 seconds to escape Bigley during the third period to wrap up another come-from-behind 5-3 victory for the Chucks.

"Titus wrestled strong and hung on," Eddy said. "Again, that was just an opportunity where we gassed him. We had a little more wind left in the end."

In the second bout of the night, Punxsy first-year wrestler Brennan Knarr, who was returning from a jaw injury, faced one of the best heavyweights in the district, and Cameron Slike took advantage by winning by fall in 10 seconds.

"It will be nice to get him a little experience to get over those nerves," Eddy said about Knarr.

Once Josh Schuckers won by forfeit at 103 pounds to put the Chucks up 9-6, the Joel Bowers versus Riley Gunter bout at 112 pounds took nearly 45 minutes to complete.

With Bowers ahead 2-0 and with 1:10 remaining in the first period, Clarion's spotlight and scoreboard turned off, and that led to a 38-minute delay.

By the time the Bowers-Gunter bout resumed, the spotlight was back in service, but a hand-held clock and scoring device were also in use.

Bowers ignored the delay while earning an 8-0 major decision over Gunter in the battle of freshmen. Eddy was excited about Bowers' win, considering he lost to Gunter in the PJW's last season.

Punxsy's Devan Snyder lost by fall in 63 seconds to Mike Bauer, who Eddy said is one of the best kids in the state. What followed was six-straight victories by Punxsy, which clinched the Chucks' win.

Kody Young was very businesslike while pinning Tristen Shaffer in 54 seconds, and Neko Cappella was ahead 6-1 before pinning Tyler Allen in 3:26.

"Neko did a great job tonight. He ran a nice power half of legs, which is not a real common thing with him," Eddy said. "Then he did a real nice job with the turkey bar, sinking the half and getting the fall."

After Seth Spack won by forfeit, Maruca earned his 5-3 victory, and Nathan McGregor wrestled an interesting match before winning by fall in 3:59 over Ricki Elliot.

McGregor worked his way toward a commanding 8-1 lead when Elliot made things interesting by cutting the deficit to 8-7. But a reversal and fall at the final moment of the second period gave McGregor the win.

"He's never going to be a technical wrestler," Eddy said about McGregor. "He's funky, and he gets into some weird positions, and that just gives guys fits."

Carl Langley wrestled well during an 8-4 loss to Clarion's Danny Walters, who is one of Clarion's better grapplers.

Langley earned all four of his points due to escapes, but was able to avoid allowing back points all six minutes.

"That was a nice match," Eddy said. "For Carl to get an 8-4 decision loss to him, that's not bad. We wrestled right with him."

Following a Josh Neal forfeit at 171 pounds, Tige Woodson finished the night with a fall over Kyle Harvey in 4:20.

Woodson scored at will during the bout. He was ahead 4-1 after one period, 13-4 entering the final period and 15-4 before collecting the fall. In all, Woodson took Harvey down five times and also registered a reversal.