BROOKVILLE — It’s up to 40 straight matches.
The Brookville Raiders’ 54-21 win over Brockway at home Thursday night brought their season record to 11-0 and combined with last year’s unbeaten 29-0 dream season, their dual meet winning streak now stands at 40.
Of course, Raiders head coach Dave Klepfer downplayed the streak somewhat. He knows that mat wars are developing on the horizon, especially next Saturday at the annual Johnson Motors Ultimate Duals.
His team is No. 2 in the latest papowerwrestling.com rankings behind Reynolds, which will be facing his Raiders in the last match of the day.
“Not as much as 41, I guess,” he smiled when asked about the streak. “It says a lot about our team last year and this year. They’re taking it upon themselves to carry on that tradition and legacy, but at the end of the day, I just got done telling the kids that these are just scrimmages.
“We’re focused on two weekends, the state duals and individual districts at Clearfield. Not to undermine this stuff and make it not important, because it is … as long as we’re wrestling good on those two week, it’ll all be good.”
The current streak is believed to be the third longest in D-9 wrestling history. Ridgway’s No. 2 streak of 49 stretched from the end of the 1987-88 season into late in the 1990-91 season.
The longest? The unbreakable stretch of 64 straight wins put together by Clearfield from the 1936-37 season into the 1944-45 campaign, meaning that the streak started four years before World War II and almost finished before WW2 came to an end in September of 1945.
Against the Rovers, the Raiders won 10 of 14 bouts, accepting three forfeit wins with two of them coming against state-ranked wrestlers in Tyler Cook at 220 and Gavin Park at 126. On the mat, the Raiders went 7-4 with five pins. The Rovers had pins in three of their four wins.
“I thought our approach was good,” Klepfer said. “We’re always preaching to score points. We approached each bout the right way, but we’re still struggling on the bottom with a couple kids and it’s costing them wins. That was a little bit disappointing and alarming at this point of the season.”
As it turned out, the teams split two tossup bouts. At 113, the Rovers’ Anthony Glasl rallied from a quick 5-0 deficit to beat Cabe Park, 6-5, getting two backpoints as time ran out.
“Being down 5-0 early, it’s hard to come back and win when you have two quality kids like that,” Rovers head coach Eric Grecco said. “He did a good job staying mentally and physically tough and kept working. He was able to get that last set of back points at the end to get the win.
“I knew a wrestler like Park would be tough to turn, but to do that with three seconds left was a great win for Anthony.”
Glasl scored all six of his points in the third period, including two stall points called on Park in the final minute leading up to the two-point move at the end.
“I’m not going to argue the stall calls, but those are stalemate positions, at least the first one was,” Klepfer said. “Four minutes went by and we were in the same minute. (But) he made his call, we knew what the situation was and that we were warned, so it’s time to get moving and we kept letting the leg back in and bad went to worse real quick.
“We have to be smarter on the mat and a little bit more want to score points on the bottom, especially against good kids.”
The Raiders’ tossup win came at 132 where Kai Sorbin gave up the bout’s first takedown to the Rovers’ Santino Inzana, but grinded out a 7-4 win. Inzana rode out Sorbin the entire third period, but couldn’t get him turned.
“The guys all wanted to bump since they forfeited to Gavin, but I felt it was important to get Kai matched up against a quality individual and he needed a win like that,” Klepfer said. “It worked out pretty good and he wrestled well. He gave up a takedown and reversal but wrestled well off the bottom. I felt that was a pretty good win for Kai at this point in the season.”
The Raiders’ pins, all in the first period, came from Xavier Molnar over Pierce Yahner at 195, Keelan Kunselman’s 42-second pin of Evan Grech at 120, Dontae Constable’s over Matthew Holt at 138, Caleb Hetrick’s win over Eric Johnson at 160 and Clayton Peace’s match-finishing decking of Erik Botwright at 170.
Noah Cieleski opened the night with a 7-2 win over Garrett McClintick at 182.
Brockway’s other three wins were pins from Mark Latuska, who bumped up from 220 to heavyweight to deck Tanner LaBenne in the second period, Andrew Hickman’s first-period pin of Jacob Cable at 145 and Angelo Inzana’s second-period pin of Cayden Walter at 152.
“Angelo gave up that first takedown, but was able to come back and get the pin, so that was a good win,” said Grecco, whose team dropped to 5-3. “We talked to the kids about coming out and giving 100 percent and competing. I think for the most part the kids did that. Mark moving up, Anthony grinding out a win and Hickman split against him last year, so to go out and pin him in the first period like that was nice.”
NOTES: The Raiders travel to Hickory tonight while the Rovers head to the Patrick J. Morales Memorial Tournament in Falconer, N.Y., this weekend. … The Raiders’ winning streak on the mat against District 9 foes increased to 20 straight dating back to their last loss to Redbank Valley at the 2013 D-9 Duals. The Raiders forfeited to the Rovers for using an ineligible wrestler at the 2015 Ultimate Duals. … It was the 70th meeting between the Raiders and Rovers. Brookville’s series edge improved to 45-24-1. … Gavin Park’s forfeit win hiked his season record to 15-2 and career record to 97-22. … Sorbin was given the Clint Puller Memorial Award for his effort in the win over Inzana. … The Raiders won the preceding junior high match, 53-46.