Over the past 40 years, Mount Saint Joseph and McDonogh wrestling have circled each other on the calendar. More recently, as the rivalry has heated up, it's been one of the biggest and most important duals in the state.
The match lived up to the hype on Friday night as the visiting No. 1 Eagles beat the No. 3 Gaels, 31-23, to spoil senior night and continue their winning streak against their rival.
"I think we wrestled well. Mapping out this match, a lot of things went the way we thought it would go," McDonogh coach Pete Welch said, "but a lot of different things could have happened."
The Eagles won the two biggest matches of the night — both in triple overtime — and that proved to be the difference.
Brandon Shure battled the Gaels' Jimmy Lucas to a 1-1 draw through regulation and the extra period, and after riding Lucas out through the second overtime, he needed to escape and hold off Lucas to win.
Shure wiggled his way out, earning the deciding point, and avoided the stalling call to take the 2-1 win at 182 pounds.
Two matches later, this time in a matchup of two of the state's best, McDonogh's top-ranked 220-pound wrestler Mike Smith battled Mount Saint Joseph's Logan Rill to a 1-1 draw. Just like his teammate, Smith earned the escape in the third overtime and held Rill off to earn the win, 2-1.
"Those two overtime wins were huge," Welch said. "We definitely got momentum after Brandon's match, not knowing what would happen ... going into overtime, he just gave me a little smile and I thought, 'OK, we're in this,' and he pulled that one out.
"Mike wrestled a great kid and we knew that would be a very tight match coming down to the wire and we were able to get it done in the overtime situation, so that took a little pressure off and gave us confidence coming down the stretch."
Mount Saint Joseph coach Harry Barnabae knew going into the dual how important those two matches might be.
"We knew they were going to go down to the wire, and either one of those wrestlers could have won either one of those matches," Barnabae said. "All four of those kids wrestled the entire time, and they edged us out. So, it gives us something to work for."
After winning two decisions and earning a forfeit through the first five bouts, the Eagles led the Gaels, 12-9, entering the 170-pound match.
The next five matches decided the dual, as McDonogh earned the two overtime wins, a decision, a pin from Myles Martin — the second-ranked 182-pound wrestling and sixth-ranked wrestler pound-for-pound in the country, according to Flowrestling — and a major decision from the state's top heavyweight, Wyatt Cook. Those victories extended the lead to 31-9 with four matches remaining.
Mount Saint Joseph had a chance to win the match with three of the top wrestlers in the state waiting anxiously on the bench. But after a major decision win at 106 pounds, Cody Trybus failed to notch a pin at 113 pounds — instead settling for a 14-3 major decision — and the comeback became impossible at that point, down 14 points with two bouts left.