Mount Union squeezes past Tyrone wrestlers to remain undefeated

“This one would be one for the fans,” said Tyrone wrestling coach Blair Packer as he described the match his Golden Eagles had just wrestled with Mount Union on the Trojans mat. “But it drives the coaches up the wall.”
Tyrone extended undefeated Mount Union to the limit on Thursday night, before the hosts scored the last 24 team points of the dual meet to pull out a 30-29 squeaker that improved the Trojans perfect early season mark to 4-0.
The dual began at heavyweight with one whale of a matchup between sophomore Terry Tate, who wrestles like he doesn’t want to have to wait to get his dues, he wants them now, and senior two-time State Qualifier and 2002 State Sixth-place winner Josh Kirsch. This time, Kirsch showed why he must be considered one of the favorites to return to Hershey in early March, by manhandling Tate (14-3) into a pinning combination and fall in 1:43 of the opening period.
Strategy was all important with both coach Packer and Mount Union first-year coach Corey Wertz making decisions that affected the outcome of the dual. Although the match began at 275, the first change came before the meet began, when Wertz weighed in both Kirsch and Ralph Morgan at 215. With the Trojans seemingly getting an easy forfeit win at 215, Wertz shifted Kirsch up to heavyweight, where the difference between Kirsch and Tate would really only be about 15-20 pounds.
At 103, Packer moved Robert Waite, who would have received a forfeit, up to 112, strengthening the Eagles lineup. Instead of getting six team points and maybe giving up six as well at 112, Waite (8-7) made Packer seem like an absolute genius by hammering Steve Hanes 14-6 for a four point team win that cut the Mount Union lead to 6-4.
At 119, Dane McCloskey (11-5) repeated a Blair/Huntingdon County Tournament win over Jason Grove again, cutting nearly a minute off his fall time getting Grove at the 3:38 mark in the dual meet. McCloskey trailed 1-0 after the first period on a penalty point and led just 2-1 when he pinned Grove, just one of many close matches over the course of the evening.
Thad Westley also got an opportunity to face an opponent from Saturday’s tournament. Although Clyde Hendrickson kept the Tyrone junior from pinning him, Westley (15-4) scored a reversal in each period and added five sets of nearfalls for a 20-5 tech fall at 125.
At 130, Brett Harris got a chance for some revenge after Jon Clemens edged the Tyrone senior 5-4 on Saturday. This time around, Harris (12-6) scored takedowns in the last two periods and hung on for a 5-3 win that improved the team score to 17-6.
David Miller (15-5) defeated Shane Hower by fall during the tournament, but needed a reversal and three back points midway through the final period on Thursday night to pull out a 7-5 come-from-behind win over Hower at 135.
Adam Swayne (9-7), who did not wrestle anyone from Mount Union in the Blair/Huntingdon County Tournament, built up a 5-1 lead over Brandon Matthews on a five-point move in the middle period, then traded reversals and added a takedown to win going away 9-4.
Brice Mertiff, who pinned his way to a tournament title over the weekend, made Mount Union’s Greg Beeler his fifth pin victim in a row, wrapping the Trojan junior up in 5:43. Mertiff is 11-5 this season and nine of his wins have come by fall.
Tyrone seemed to be in pretty good shape with a 29-6 lead after the 145-pound match. That was to be the last win for the Eagles however, as Mount Union recorded a 4-0 win by Drew Aurand over Jesse Shaw (5-9) at 152, forfeits at 160, and 189, a 9-2 win Trey Rogers win by decision over Blake Cowfer (6-9) at 171, and a fall by Trojan senior Ralph Morgan over Justin Clark (3-10) at 215, in 1:21 that gave Mount Union the single-point win.
“I thought the kids wrestled well, I couldn’t ask for more,” said coach Packer in talking about his team, which fell to 2-2 in dual meets. “If you look back at everyone of those matches, you tend to say, Oh! We might have scored another team point here or a point there. I know if the match had ended in a tie, we would have won the dual on the first tiebreaker seven matches to six. I thought the performance tonight of all our kids was outstanding, I can’t say enough about them.”
Junior High
The junior high match set the pace for the rest of the evening with Tyrone handing the Trojan junior high their first loss of the year 49-39. Mount Union is now 5-1.
In raising their record to 3-1, the little Eagles raced out to a 12-0 lead with Brandon Oswalt beginning the match with a 4-3 win at 250 and William Shauf (75) receiving a forfeit win and Anthony Romano (80) pulling out a 6-0 regular decision. Mount Union came back with two pins to tie the score at 12-12, but Shayne Tate won by decision and the Tyrone junior high never trailed after that.
Justin Schopp (105) and James Updike (130) won by fall, Donnie Conrad (138) won by tech fall and T. J. Albright (100) and Sam McCloskey (122) each won a major decision to lead the Eagles to the victory.
Mount Union 30 Tyrone 29
275 – Josh Kirsch (MU) pinned Terry Tate 1:43
103 – no match
112 – Robert Waite (T) won by maj. dec. Steve Hanes 14-6
119 – Dane McCloskey (T) pinned Jason Grove 3:38
125 – Thad Westley (T) won by tech fall Clyde Hendrickson 20-5
130 – Brett Harris (T) dec. Jon Clemens 5-3
135 – David Miller (T) dec. Shane Hower 7-5
140 – Adam Swayne (T) dec. Brandon Matthews 9-4
145 – Brice Mertiff (T) pinned Greg Beeler 5:43
152 – Drew Aurand (MU) dec. Jesse Shaw 4-0
160 – Jon Starr (MU) won by forfeit
171 – Trey Rogers (MU) dec. Blake Cowfer 9-2
189 – Jamie Nagel (MU) won by forfeit
215 – Ralph Morgan (MU) pinned Justin Clark 1:21
Junior High
250 – Brandon Oswalt (T) dec. Mike Wilson 4-3
75 – William Shauf (T) won by forfeit
80 – Anthony Romano (T) dec. Devin Smith 6-0
85 – Snuff Walter (MU) pinned Chris Miller 1:27
90 – Keith Ryan (MU) pinned Shane Emigh 0:30
95 – Shayne Tate (T) dec. Kevin Ryan 9-5
100 – T. J. Albright (T) maj dec. Phil Watson 14-0
105 – Justin Schopp (T) pinned B. J. Prough 1:24
110 – Dave Rowe (MU) dec. Jacob Smerekar 4-3
115 – Nick McGoughey (MU) pinned Josh Hunter 0:30
122 – Sam McCloskey (T) maj. dec. Steven Hawkins 11-0
130 – James Updike (T) pinned Dustin Drake 1:05
138 – Donnie Conrad (T) won by tech fall Eric Starr 19-2, 4:15
145 – Weston Feather (MU) pinned Chris Bradigan 1:24
155 – Brandon Deamer (MU) pinned Tyler Updike 0:54
165 – Eric Hoffmaster (MU) pinned Johnny Miller 1:02
185 – Heath Walk (T) dec. Lyle Kaylor 5-0
210 – Jeff Miller (T) won by forfeit.
EXH: Brandon Clemens (MU) dec. Byron Sullins 8-2.