Going into the last match of its county opener Wednesday, Century trailed Westminster by a point and all eyes were on sophomore wrestler Brady Rogers who was facing Dennis Marmalyukov in the 126-pound bout.
In a hard fought three periods, Rogers came out with a 3-2 win, giving the Knights a 36-34 victory over the host Owls.
"After my last match on Monday I felt terrible and I lost. But I came back with more confidence tonight and I knew I had to win this match so I was pumped up," Rogers said. "I knew he was definitely taller and stronger than me so I needed to work on some things like finding better angles."
After wrestling on JV all of last season, Rogers is off to a hot start, with an early season record of 12-2.
"Last year on JV I sucked, couldn't have won a match on varsity, but this year I've been much better so far," Rogers said.
Knights coach Dennis Frazier has already noticed Rogers' early-season performance.
"He's improved a tremendous amount because he did a lot of work over the summer," Frazier said. "Everyone gets better during the season, but he did all the other stuff in the offseason and he's 100 percent better than he was last season."
Ethan Smolley put Century in a position to win with a 7-0 decision over Aaron Robey to cut Westmintser's lead to one going into the last match. The Knights (9-5, 1-0 in the county) had five pins in total, including one that came in the first period.
In the 160-pound weight class Brandon Buckingham pinned Seth Gavigan in just 29 seconds. Ryder Cavey also had an impressive performance for Century, pinning Connor Glass in 1 minute and 19 seconds in the 220-pound match. But due in part to two Century forfeits, the fate of the Knights came down to the last two matches.
"I had confidence that they were both going to win, they're both good wrestlers who have wrestled for me before," Frazier said. "I was extremely nervous going into tonight because we had two forfeits and three JV wrestlers moved up due to injuries and other reasons, so I knew it was going to be extremely close. Westminster is a tough team and they've already improved a lot under coach Winters."
The Owls kept it close throughout the match highlighted by back to back pins in the 106 and 113 classes respectively. After a Ryker Eckenbarger pin, it took Cole Wetzel just one minute to take down and pin Century's Zach Keepers.
"We're really young and we're really inexperienced," Westminster coach Wes Winters said. "But we've improved in every match so far this season."
132: Sean Donoghue (C) pin Brian Kreafle 3:12.
138: Joe Teta (W) dec. Brett Hummel 7-5.
145: Jake Reed (W) m-dec. Jake Slade 11-3.
152: Kevin Maks (W) dec. Matt Evans 8-6.
160: Brandon Buckingham (C) pin Seth Gavigan 0:29.
170: Kevin Davis (C) pin Hunter Bensky 2:16.
182: Kevin Snyder (C) pin Jason Richardson 3:55.
195: Dom Calabria (W) by forfeit.
220: Ryder Cavey (C) pin Connor Glass 1:19.
285: Stefano Capuano (W) by forfeit.
106: Ryker Eckenbarger (W) pin Mike Rice 1:55.
113: Cole Wetzel (W) pin Zach Keepers 1:00.
120: Ethan Smolley (C) dec. Aaron Robey 7-0.
126: Brady Rogers (C) dec. Dennis Marmalyukov 3-2.