It was a typical Centre County backyard hassle on the mats Tuesday night at the Bellefonte gymnasium as the Red Raiders downed Penns Valley 41-25.
“At this point in the season, we have had five or six different lineups with some unfortunate injuries and sickness on our side,” said Bellefonte head coach Mike Maney. “It seems like we get one guy back we lose one or two so at this point we have to plug guys in the lineup where we can. When that happens, we have to claw, scrape and scratch for everything you can get to pull out dual meets. Right now the guys who are stepping on the mat are doing what they can by trying to get some bonus points and at the same time trying not to give them up.”
Bellefonte won nine of the 14 weight classes, picking up 11 bonus points along the way to increase its margin of victory.
“Trevor Corl (145) was a good starting point for us,” Maney said. “He and (Nate) Rosenberger are seniors and you expect them to go out and get some bonus points to get your started. I would like to see more pins on our side, but we did get two tech falls and a couple of bonus points in each of those. We have to stay aggressive in getting those bonus points because when you have guys out of the lineup you don’t always get them. What we need to do is continue to look for them.”
Corl and Rosenberger got the Raiders off to a quick start as Corl built up a huge lead on Dylan Homan before getting the fall at the 3:35 mark before Rosenberger was all over Isaac Bierly for a 15-0 technical fall in 4:11.
The Rams cut their deficit to single digits with two wins in the next three bouts when they sandwiched a 4-1 decision by Andrew Hurd (160) and a forfeit win by Corey Hazel (182) around a 3-2 win by Dakota Bair at 170. For Hazel, the win was the 100th of his outstanding career.
Red Raider Brien McChseney tossed a 5-0 shutout at Corey Rimmey before the two teams traded falls at 220 and 285 to turn the lineup over. Lucas Sharer did the honors for the Rams at 220 before Tim Benford returned the favor for the Red Raiders at 285.
With the pair of falls, the Rams were still well within striking distance as the Raider lead stood at 23-15 with six weights remaining.
Just as the two teams traded falls at 220 and 285, they played give-and-take at 106 and 113 when Ram Darren Yearick was the recipient of a forfeit win before Shafiq Blake picked up the forfeit for Bellefonte at 113.
With four bouts remaining on the card, the Raiders pulled away as they won three.
Aaron Witherite dominated Jason Ticknor for a 16-0 technical fall in 4:26 at 120 before Curtis Decker stopped the bleeding for Penns Valley as the Ram scored an 8-0 major decision against Cameron Coppolo.
Luke Leathers (132) clinched the meet for the Red Raiders, returning to the lineup following an injury to blank Jacob Confer 7-0. In the final match, Chase Gardner reversed a decision from last year with an 8-0 major decision win over Jared Hurd.
“At this point we hope to get Leathers at full strength because he isn’t there yet and tonight we had (Brock) Port and (Dillon) Kephart out of the lineup,” said Maney. “Those are three guys you learn to count on and when two of the three are missing, that means someone has to step up.”
Penns Valley head coach Joel Brinker was unavailable for comment following the meet.
The Raiders visit Central Mountain on Thursday night before hosting the 16-team Red Raider Rumble Saturday. Penns Valley hosts Bellwood-Antis on Thursday.