HYDE — It was a memorable night for DuBois head coach Luke Bundy and his Beaver wrestling team Thursday evening at Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium.
DuBois won eight of the 12 contested bouts and the teams swapped forfeits as the Beavers beat rival Clearfield 43-24 on the road, giving Bundy his 100th career win as the Beaver head coach. The Beavers also got to take home the Pete Morelli Battle for the Buck trophy as the winners of the dual.
“It was special,” Bundy said. “Anytime you can beat Clearfield is. It’s a big rivalry, and they are always gunning to beat us and we’re gunning to beat them. It was a big win for me as a coach, but it’s a testament to the kids we’ve had and the hard work they’ve put in the 10 years I’ve been here.
“Really, I’m just the coach and it gets chalked under my column, but those are the guys out there on the mat getting it done.”
“I want to congratulate Luke Bundy on his 100th win,” Bison head coach Jeff Aveni said. “It was another hard-fought match between Clearfield and DuBois for the Morelli Trophy. I’m sure he would have been proud of both sides.”
DuBois got a quick start with pins from 106-pounder Trenton Donahue at 106 and Ed Scott at 120 and won close 1-point bouts at 126 and 145 as the lightweights sparked the Beavers to a 30-6 advantage.
“Our lightweights are tough and they’re going to anchor down our team most of the year,” Bundy said. “But really, after the two pounds kicks in and people move around and you plug some holes, a dual meet a month from now is going to be totally different as far as lineups go.
“But, we had a good effort from a lot of our guys that got some big, key wins for us.”
The biggest bout at the night for the Beavers came at 138 where Austin Fairman rallied from a 6-2 deficit to pin Bison Jude Pallo, who bumped up from 132, where Kolby Ho got a forfeit.
At that point, DuBois led 27-6 instead if just 21-9 had Pallo held on for the decision.
“Austin is strong as a bull and he’s going to give light guys trouble, and I think that’s what gave Pallo trouble,” Bundy said. “He’s hard to break down and he’s hard to turn. and Pallo tried a cradle there and we stuck him.”
The 138-pound bout was one of many weight classes where the Bison simply didn’t get things to fall their way.
Clearfield 126-pounder Matt Ryan lost a 1-0 decision to Dalton Woodrow when the Bison and their fans thought he had the winning takedown just before time expired.
“It seemed like nothing went our way,” Aveni said. “I thought we wrestled a lot better than we did Tuesday (against Bald Eagle Area). I see this team coming together and I still feel that we could have and should have won that match.
“We had one match taken away from us. The next match we made one huge mistake and those alone were a 15-point swing and that just kills you. If those go our way, we put the pressure on them and things are different.
“I thought we wrestled tough. Matt Ryan wrestled a great match. I thought Jude was wrestling a great match and he made one fatal mistake. The big thing about that mistake is we had just gone over the situation.
Bison 145-pounder Caleb Freeland put up a strong effort against DuBois veteran Brock Adams, but ultimately fell 5-4.
Jacob Carter won his bout over DuBois’ Lance Henninger 6-3 in overtime, but Aveni was hoping for more.
And Clearfield’s Hunter Wright wrestled Carson Hanna tough for two periods at 160 before giving up four takedowns in the third period and surrendering a 14-6 major decision late in the match.
“Caleb Freeland could have won that match,” Aveni said. “He was right there. It was a great performance, but he didn’t pull it off. We didn’t get any bonus points at 52 and we needed bonus points there. And then we gave up a bonus point at 60.
“We wrestled tough enough right up until the end, but i didn’t like what I saw the last few matches.”
Trailing 34-9 after the 160-pound bout, the Bison won three in a row to get back in the match.
Thayne Morgan locked up a cradle on Dom Dillulo and pinned him in 1:12 at 170 before Steven Sawyer used a headlock to earn a big five-point move in the second period and holding on for a 6-3 win over Izsak Kerner at 182.
Luke McGonigal continued the Bison run with a 22-second fall against Blaise Carney, using a mixer to finish him.
But, DuBois’ Dave Henninger put the match away when he muscled Hunter Bumbarger to his back and pinned him at 1:02.
Matt Starr ended the night with a 9-3 decision for DuBois, which moved to 1-0 on the young season.
Bundy thought the key in the heavyweight match and in the dual meet in general was his team’s conditioning.
“Our guys have done a great job controlling their weight and eating the right things and that plays a big part in your gas tank when you are wrestling,” Bundy said. “I’m proud of this team. They monitor their weight. They keep it in check and that helps come match time.”
While Aveni thought his team progressed well overall since Tuesday’s loss at BEA, he wasn’t happy with how the dual meet ended.
“We went over too easy and got pinned too easy at 220 against a guy I think we’re capable of wrestling with,” he said. “And Gisewhite took shots and then quit and that’s the first I’ve seen that since early in the season. He quit on his shots and quit on himself and he’s a kid that if he keeps that motor going, he’ll get those.
“We’ll work on it and get back in the room. We’re going to tell them about the good things we did and forget about the bad things. We got better tonight and we’ll be back. I felt coming into the night that DuBois was the best team in District 9, and I feel coming out that we could be.”
Clearfield (0-2) is back in action Tuesday, playing host to Central.