On a night when every bout was won by either a pin or a forfeit, Tuesday’s dual came down to the final heavyweight showdown between Lansdowne’s Anthony Nguyen and Randallstown’s Chris Ordonez.
The host Vikings led, 42-36, before the final bout and Nguyen’s pregame plan was simple: “Don’t get pinned and don’t lose.”
Ordonez scored a takedown midway through the first period, but Nguyen tied it 15 seconds later with a reversal and won it with a second-period fall, sealing a 48-36 win for the Vikings.
Nguyen said falling behind was his wake-up call.
“I had to step up my game,” Nguyen said. “I had to stay balanced, use my strength and more technique.”
Right before getting the fall, Nyguyen had his back turned while Ordonez wrapped him up while both were on their feet. Nyguyen countered with a spin move and landed on top and the match was over.
“I was trying to stay balanced so I don’t fall over and soon as I noticed him falling, I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going with him, too, and I just landed on top of him,’” Nguyen said.
Assistant coach Brian Lipscomb marveled at the way Nguyen has progressed in only two seasons on the mat.
“2020 was a bust [due to COVID] and last year and this year he has shown so much improvement and he’s mentally strong,” Lipscomb said.
Last season, the Vikings worked through a midseason coaching change and Dave Meekins was named head coach this season. Lipscomb, has been the one constant in the program through the pandemic and he’s also familiar with the younger wrestlers.
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“Freshmen and sophomores make up a bulk of the team, we’ve got one senior [Scott Snyder, 113] and two juniors,” Lipscomb said. “Five of our guys are from the junior league which really helps out.”
The match opened with a first-period pin by Lansdowne’s Glenn Lail at 106 pounds. Back-to-back forfeit wins from Scott Snyder and Bernard Bolden and a first-period pin by Jason Thomas bumped the Vikings’ lead to 24-0.
Randallstown’s Maria Samuel got the Rams on board with a forfeit at 132, but Lansdowne’s Sean Lippman pinned Gabe Davidson at 138 and the Vikings led 30-6. Randallstown’s Josh Locket won a forfeit at 145, but Chase Swiger pinned Riley Bjerkness at 152 with one second left in the third period while leading 8-0.
“That was beautiful, he was saving it until the end,” Lipscomb said.
Freshman Darius Simms had the most impressive pin of the night when he slammed Kylee Clark 39 seconds into the match and the Vikings led 42-18. The Rams secured the next 18 points with Eric Carillo getting a forfeit at 182 and Jordan Powell and Moyo Idowu getting pins.
That set up Nguyen’s final pin that clinched the victory.
“It feels nice, really good,” Nguyen said. “Mainly, we are all friends here, so we have a good bond together.”