Raiders shut down Punxsy wrestlers

BROOKVILLE — The Punxsy Chucks went into Tuesday night's matchup against Brookville knowing it would be a competitive one, and the Raiders handed them one with a dominating 65-6 victory.

"We were looking at the possibility of getting shut out," Punxsy head coach Eric Eddy said. "We were looking at that coming in. That was a possibility because we know how tough they are."

And apart from a forfeit win by Perry Arrington, Brookville gave the Chucks the shutout. Although the scoreboard showed domination, there were some bright spots. The Chucks gave up only six pins, and the Raiders earned just two major decisions.

"I don't want to say we wrestled a horrible match," Eddy said. "The kids went out there and did some good stuff. Little mistakes killed us. Every now and then, you get one of these. It's been a couple of years since we've had one."

The Raiders easily dominated from the opening match, when sophomore Brady Mineweaser pinned Andrew Bullers in 1:47. From there, the Chucks were never able to recover.

"Tonight was kind of a complete meltdown," Eddy said. "Things went bad from the beginning, and we never righted that ship."

At 120 pounds, Punxsy's Joel Bowers lost a major decision, 13-4, after Trey Constable had a commanding second period, during which he scored nine to Bowers' two.

Brookville's Dalton Zimmerman then took on Darin Jones at 126 pounds, and Zimmerman easily pinned him in 1:10.

Devan Snyder wrestled a competitive first period against Brookville freshman Cole Clever, but after some mistakes in the second, Clever earned the pin in 3:46, giving Brookville an early 22-0 lead.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the night came for Neko Cappella, who was slated to match up against freshman Jimmy Miller. Miller led by one after the first period, but Cappella earned back the point, and the match was tied at three heading into the third period.

Cappella made a mental mistake by locking hands in the third, which gave Miller the edge he needed to secure the 8-5 decision.

"That might be the first time in (Cappella's) career he's ever had a locked hands called against him," Eddy said of the error. "Bad things were happening tonight, and they were happening to everybody."

Miller earned the win by scoring only defensive points, and Eddy was quick to compliment Miller's work.

"Miller did an incredible job wrestling Neko," Eddy said. "He did exactly what he needed to do to win the match, and you certainly can't take anything away from that. When a guy does exactly what he needs to do, he deserves to win."

Arrington then earned the Chucks' their only points of the night, as Brookville was forced to forfeit at the 145-pound match.

At 152 pounds, Punxsy junior Caesar Maruca struggled against one of Brookville's powerhouses, Zach Vroman, who earned the 16-3 major decision to give Brookville a 29-6 lead.

Senior Seth Spack, who continues to look for his 100th career win, then took on Brookville's Brett Smith, who recently reached the milestone himself. Smith led only 1-0 heading into the third period, and Spack attempted to make a big move but was thwarted. Smith earned three back points and the 4-0 victory.

"At 1-0, that forces Seth to try and make a move at the end," Eddy said. "About 15 seconds left or so, Seth tried to force a cement mixer and ended up giving up three back points. It wasn't a bad match. That just shows you how one mistake can make a huge difference."

At 170, Punxsy's Ryan Marshall was pinned by Taylor Cudworth in :43, which turned out to be the quickest match of the night.

Carl Langley went up against Tyler Dombrowski, who earned an early 8-0 lead and never looked back. Dombrowski earned a 10-3 decision to give Brookville a 41-6 lead.

At 195, Logan Stout and Josh Neal were evenly matched during the first period, but Stout eventually earned the pin at 3:50.

During the 220 matchup, Tyler Titus was also given an even matchup against Brookville's Jacob Cieleski, and neither of the two could score during the first period. But in the second, Cieleski earned the pin at 2:32.

Brookville finished off the night by earning forfeit wins for Nathan Nosker (285-pounds) and Devin Joiner (106 pounds).

Eddy said the Chucks were truly tested Tuesday against a tough Brookville team, and he said some of the match-ups were especially tough for the Chucks.

"Sending Bowers to Constable, sending Neal up to Stout, sending Carl Langley up to Dombrowski, that's all stuff to prepare these guys for the tough matches at the end of the year, and Brookville is tough," Eddy said. "They have some of the toughest wrestlers in the state out of their lineup. When they get those guys back, they're going to be really something to deal with at the state level."

The Chucks will be back in action Thursday night against Ridgway, and Eddy said that between now and then, Punxsy must work on fixing the little mistakes, but he still is confident about the Ridgway match, despite knowing the Chucks will be facing a solid squad.

"We're all ready to go back in the room (today), work on the things we need to work on and get ready for Ridgway on Thursday," Eddy said. "We're in for another tough one there. So hopefully, we can go up there and wrestle tough and get this bad taste out of our mouths."