MOUNT UNION - There are nights that junior high wrestlers are so abundant that Mount Union's varsity team doesn't get to hit the mat until after 8 p.m.
On Thursday, the Trojans' top team was done before prime time. Nine of the matmen in blue and gold pinned Tussey Mountain opponents as the Trojans cruised in a 70-12 Inter-County Conference win over the Titans.
Lopsided doesn't begin to cover how dominant Mount Union's performance was. Consider:
Sentinel photo by JEFF FISHBEIN
Mount Union’s Robbie Steel, top, locks up Brennan Price of Tussey Mountain in their 132-pound bout Thursday. Steel pinned Price in the second period.
Tussey Mountain didn't score a single takedown. Not one.
The Titans scored the first points in just one bout.
Seven of the team's 16 points were escapes - at least a few of which were allowed - and penalty points.
In fact, four of those points - three escapes - were scored in the final bout, the only one in the match that went the full six minutes.
It says a lot that the most entertaining point of the dual meet came when a Mount Union wrestler gave up a penalty point for not having his shoelaces properly secured.
Six of the nine Trojan victories came in the first period; half of them in less than a minute. In nine bouts that ended with a fall favoring Mount Union, the total clock time used was roughly that of two and a half full-length bouts.
The high point for the home team came midway through the dual - the deciding point as well - when Jake Boozel, Robbie Steel and Curtis Jury went beyond the opening two minutes. There had been one match to the third before that - a loss for the Trojans - and Steel, to some extent, and Jury found themselves having to work to win.
Jury in fact, was winning 7-0 when the second period started, but was put on his back for three by Tussey Mountain's Shayne Brumbaugh when Jury took the bottom to start the period.
"On the bottom, he's making mistakes," Mount Union coach Corey Wertz said of his 138-pounder. "We've got to correct that. I thought we addressed it yesterday in practice because he did the same thing on Tuesday.
"But, to his credit, he came back, fought hard and came through with the win."
What Wertz sees, though, are the same problems almost any team is going to see at this point in the season.
"I think we're doing some early season mistakes and we just need to fix them," he said. "We need to calm down. Sometimes I think we're trying to go two and three moves ahead before we do what we're supposed to do first.
"I think these guys see other guys pinning fast and think, 'I've got to do that too.' One step at a time and eventually it will happen."
The experience factor weighs heavily. Veterans Phil Kyle, Darrian Stapleton and Nikolas Smith were among the quick and easy winners. But so were a couple of the newcomers: D.J. Bookwalter, Mason Craig and Sam Estep - all 10th graders - were the other first-period winners.
The Titans opted to forfeit to Sage Moist and Dylan Smith.
"If you're going to get in this lineup you better be ready," Wertz said. "You're expected to contribute right away and you're going to have to grow up quick. Some of these guys are finding out."
No coach is happy with losses, and Wertz was disappointed with the two his team gave up, if for no other reason than both of them were six-point outcomes.
"We only lost two matches but gave up 12 points. If you're going to lose matches, don't give up bonus points," he said.
The one that was perhaps the bigger disappointment was at 106, where Tussey Mountain's Oaklee Brode pinned Bryton Stidfole with just 14 seconds left in the match - a bout that was a 3-2 battle before Brode took control in the third.
"Bryton had a good win on Tuesday, found himself in a dogfight here today and I felt that was a match he could have won," Wertz said.
Mount Union (2-0, 1-0) travels to Juniata Valley Tuesday.