Archbishop Spalding's Jordan Cohill knew history was at stake when he lined up against Tyler Tippett in the final match of yesterday's dual meet against top-ranked Mount St. Joseph.
The fifth-ranked Cavaliers trailed the Gaels by two, and if Cohill prevailed, Spalding would have its first victory over the area's No. 1 team in wrestling. Cohill won the hard-fought bout at 160 pounds by a point, and the Cavaliers won, 28-27.
"Everybody was telling me the pressure was on me," Cohill said. "I've wrestled that kid before. He's tough. I knew he was going to keep it close. I did what I could to win."
The teams traded points throughout the night. K'Vaunte Smith gave the Cavaliers an early lead with a victory over Matt Mullett at 171. Austin Bohn answered for the Gaels with a pin over Steven Manders at 189.
A victory by Tyler Goodwin at 112 gave the Gaels (5-4) their biggest lead, 18-9, in the sixth match of the night. However, victories by Brady Gaynor at 119, William Switzer (125) and Charlie Lynch (130) tied the match at 18 with five matches to go.
A pin by Danny Orem at 145 gave the Gaels a six-point lead, heading into the final two matches. However, Jeff Yeatman won, 21-3, at 152 and then Cohill won, 3-2, for Spalding's victory.
"A lot of these guys who won the big matches are freshmen and sophomores," Spalding coach Mike Laidley said. "So, I am excited. The last two guys ... we knew they had to win. I wouldn't have wanted any other kids on my team to be in that moment. ... They brought it home."
Mount St. Joseph has been hindered by injuries all season. The Gaels were missing five regular wrestlers last night, including Frank Goodwin, a runner-up at nationals last season, and Karl Green, who won the MIAA and private school titles last season. Gaels coach Kirk Salvo said the injuries were not the reason for the loss and credited Spalding (4-2) for its intensity.
"We had enough guys here with varsity experience to win this match," Salvo said. "You have to take your hat off to Spalding. They did one heck of a job. They wanted it more."