State College’s 60-13 wrestling win over Harrisburg on Thursday night at the State High North Building was a bad news, good news proposition.
The bad news? Those who paid admission only received half of what they paid for. Only seven of 14 matches were contested.
The good news? State College received six forfeits and won four of the seven contested matches by fall, so they didn’t have to stay long to get a return on their dollars.
And, the bonus? Even on a night with temperatures in the teens, Little Lion fans’ cars were probably still warm when they returned to them.
The Little Lions earned six forfeits to go along with their four pins to turn away a feisty but outgunned Cougars squad.
“They had a couple tough kids there and our guys had to work for it. I know that three of our guys got those losses, but they were tough kids that they wrestled. It’s a learning experience, for sure,” State College coach Ryan Cummins said.
The match started at 126 pounds and after Anthony Myers received a forfeit, the Little Lions led for good. Bobby Bendik (182), Pete Haffner (220), Adam Stover (106), Jacob Pammer (113) and Trey Millward (120) also received forfeits.
State College’s lead swelled to 18-0 with pins at 132 and 138. Lucas Jennerman and Dalton Barger notched back-to-back falls in nearly identical time. Jennerman needed 3:39 and Barger just 7 seconds fewer, 3:32.
Harrisburg finally broke through at 145. With the match between Cougar Dupri Andrews and Little Lion Ian Barr tied at 3-3 after the first period, Andrews chose top to start the second. He made the move pay off by turning Barr and pinning him in 3:05.
The Cougars would cut State’s lead to 18-13 with wins at the next two weights, as well.
Rashien Phillips built a 6-2 first-period lead over Jarred Price and then held the Little Lion at bay for a 13-9 decision at 152.
At 160, Harrisburg’s Christian Gayle proved too powerful for Jonathan Sponsler in a 12-2 major decision for the Cougar.
There was no match at 170 and a forfeit for State College at 182.
At 195, Cory Dreibelbis barely needed more time than walking on the match to get his hand raised in a forfeit. The Little Lion needed a mere 32 seconds to deck Keyshawn Gooding.
After another forfeit at 220, the final bout lasted less than a period. Little Lion 285-pounder Jack Vandevort planted Frank Carter on his back in 1:49.
The final three bouts were all forfeit wins for State College, which improved to 4-2.
“They’ve got some real athletes. Our guys need that kind of experience,” Cummins said.
“I don’t know if you’re ever exactly where you want to be, but I think that they’re improving every time we hit the mat. That’s what we want. We’ve got some time. We need to work on some little things. I think all in all, they’re looking good and where they should be.”