CLARION — Toby Cahill pinned Mauro Correnti with 30 seconds remaining in the first period, propelling the Clarion University wrestling team to a wild 18-17 victory over No. 21 Rider at Marwick-Boyd Auditorium last Friday night.
The Golden Eagles (8-4 overall, 3-1 EWL) defeated the nationally-ranked Broncs at home for the second time in a row. They visit Bloomsburg Friday.
The freshman heavyweight claimed his second bonus-point win in as many matches, but without a doubt the performance on Friday night was the biggest result of his young career. Cahill and Correnti felt each other out for much of the first period, with Cahill reversing and overpowering Correnti in throwing him down to the mat. With Correnti dead to rights, Cahill pinned his shoulders at the 2:30 mark to send the Clarion crowd into a frenzy.
Dom Rigous and Greg Bulsak earned back-to-back victories at 174 and 184 pounds, pulling Clarion to within 14-12, and Cahill finished the night with his fifth win by fall of the year.
Brookville’s Brock Zacherl got things going for Clarion in the 141-pound match, jumping out to a 3-0 lead early in the second period against Tyson Dippery. Zacherl shot out of Dippery’s grasp for an early escape and immediately turned around to catch his lunging opponent, bringing him down for a two-point takedown.
Dippery escaped for a point, but that concluded the scoring for the bout as neither wrestler was able to bring the other down in the third period. Zacherl made an important move with 45 seconds remaining in the third, tying up Dippery’s leg and preventing him from taking a shot of his own to potentially tie the match.
Zacherl improved to 22-0 and he’s ranked No. 5 in the nation at 141 according to this week’s intermatwrestle.com Division I rankings.
Brookville’s Taylor Ortz wasted no time in his 149-pound match, bringing down Gino Fluri in mere seconds in the first period. Ortz caught a break at the start of the second period, escaping from the down starting position after Fluri tossed him and taking a 3-1 advantage.
Ortz started the third period on top and rode Fluri well to start, racking up enough riding time for the additional point. Fluri eventually escaped but Ortz never gave him a clean shot the rest of the bout, winning 4-2. He improved to 20-8.
Rider responded with wins at 157 and 165, taking a 14-6 lead entering the 174-pound match.
Rigous’ 4-0 win over Dean Sherry at 174 and Bulsak’s 6-5 win over Wayne Stinson at 184 got the Golden Eagles within 14-12. But Ethan Laird’s 3-1 sudden victory win over the Golden Eagles’ Conti at 197 set up Cahill’s heroics in the finale.
In the opener, Brookville’s Gavin Park fell to Gerald Wert in a 12-1 major decision at 125. Park’s record dropped to 16-10.
The Golden Eagles wrap up their home and EWL schedule Sunday against Lock Haven starting at 2 p.m. at Marwick-Boyd once again. From there, they have three non-conference matches remaining on the road — Feb. 16 in a double-dual at Michigan State with Eastern Michigan and Feb. 18 at West Virginia.