Trojans fall in Juniata duals final

MIFFLINTOWN Going into the their final match of the evening, the Mount Union Trojan wrestling team got off to a strong start against Hamburg but could not hold onto the lead, falling 47-19 in the title tilt of the Juniata Duals Saturday night at the Juniata high school gym.

However, the championship round was not without its overtimes and numerous nailbiters.

The Trojans went thought the tournament, posting a 4-0 record before heading into the championship game.

“I thought we wrestled better today than we did last week,” Mount Union coach said. “Hopefully we were saving up for this. But I thought they wrestled a lot better today.”

Along the way, the Trojans took care of everyone in Pool B, which consisted of Mount Carmel, Towanda, Ligonier Valley and Juniata.

Mount Union took care of Towanda, winning 40-28; defeated Ligonier Valley 59-20; and Mount Carmel 64-11.

After falling behind 3-0 at 195 in the title tilt, Mount Union’s, 220-pounder Darrian Stapleton wasted little time putting his team back into the lead, pinning Logan Lackey only 54 seconds into the match.

Teammate Nikolas Smith kept things going at the heavyweight class picking up 4-1 decision over Blake Roberts, upping the Trojans lead to 9-3.

Smith and Roberts both finished the first period scoreless. Both picked up a point in the second period, forcing a 3-overtime finish.

While still tied at one in the final period, Smith was in the down posisition, he managed to escape Roberts clutches and was able to put him down for the 4-1 decision.

Mount Union dropped the 113-pound contest when Romeo Eddy pinned Mount Union’s Bryton Stidfole at the 4:48 mark of the final period.

Before the pin, Stidfole trailed 10-7 and was still in the contest before being put down by Eddy.

Mason Craig got the Trojans back on the scoreboard and back into the lead as he made quick work over Mike Eicher, pulling off the pin late in the first period, 1:41 making it 15-9.

At 120 pounds, Mount Union’s Sage Moist lost a heartbreaker to Sean Stanish in overtime 6-4 thriller. Despite the loss, Mount Union still held a 15-12 lead.

Unfortunately for the Trojans, the Hawks were just warming up as they picked up wins at 126, 132, 138, 145 and 152. In the run, Hamburg built up a comfortable 35-15 lead.

Mount Union got one last win on the night and it came from the 160-pound weight class. Dylan Smith dominated Ronnie Lavigne 11-2.

Smith came out and immediately put Lavigne down to the mat and picked up three back points, making it 5-0. Lavigne reversed things on Smith but then the Trojan mat man took back control with an escape, leading 6-2 after the opening period.

Smith would never look back, picking up the 11-2 major decision.

In its match against host Juniata, it took everything the Trojans had, coming out onto with a slim 36-35 victory in the last of the afternoon’s prelims.

Juniata finished a respectable outing, finishing 2-3 on the night, defeating Mount Carmel 59-12 and Ligoner Valley 42-39.