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The St. Marys Roughriders wrestling team split a tri-match Thursday evening with Defiance and Elida in the Riders’ lone home match of the season.
In the first match against Defiance the Riders had a furious comeback to defeat the Bulldogs 39-33. In the second match against the Elida Bulldogs Elida had four straight pins late in the match to defeat the Riders 42-33.
St. Marys rallied back from a 27-3 deficit against Defiance.
In the final match of the contest, Kaleb Chaney of the Riders pinned Pete Flores with 46 seconds left in the match to give the Riders the 39-33 victory.
“It was kind of a surprise,” Riders head coach Larry Gruber said. “We got some key pins when we needed them.”
With the Riders trailing 27-3, Luke Lemmerman registered a pin for the Riders with 1:11 left in the second period of the 160 pound match to make the team score 27-9.
Neil Perry got a void victory at 182 pounds and the Riders got void wins at 193 pounds with Andrew Taylor and 220 with Chance Hicks.
Joey Fowler tied the match at 33-33 with a pin with nine seconds left in the first period.
Both teams battled in the first two matches. Garrett Hower held on to defeat Ricky Barajas 8-5 inthe 113 pound match, but Ricky Ziffel got a 15-5 victory over Austin Quellhorst in the 120 pound match for a 4-3 Defiance lead.
Defiance got pins in the next two matches to extend the lead to 16-3.
The second match of the tri-meet was Elida against the Riders. Quellhorst got the Riders off with a void victory at 120 pounds but Adam Trayer pinned Ken Speicher with 47 seconds left in the first period of the 126 pound match to tie the score.
Nick Pauff scored a technical fall 15-0 against Corey Nedderman at 132, but the Riders came back when Dakota Knous got a forfeit victory at 138 to give the Riders a 12-11 lead.
Jalen Heitkamp came close against Tyler Dunlap at 145 pounds losing 9-7 in overtime and Ryan Slife was defeated at 152 pounds 10-1 by Zack Green. The Riders tied the team score at 18-all in the 160 pound match when Lemmerman pinned Alex Dukehart with 1:33 left in the first period.
The Riders got their last team lead of the match when Collin Reier held on for an 11-9 victory in the 170 pound match.
Elida then had four straight pins before Kaleb Chaney got a void win at 106 pounds and Garrett Hower pinned Dakoth Rolfe with 1:11 left in the second period to make the final team score 42-33.
“We still have a lot of things to work on,” Gruber said. “The problem is that they still get beat on things they should already know and things that shouldn’t get beat on, but mostly it is a lack of experience.”
The Riders travel to the Indian Lake Invitational on Saturday.