Tigers defeat Defenders in a lopsided dual

FRANKLIN TWP. — Jeremy Betz knew Thursday’s dual with Southern Columbia could be lopsided. His Warrior Run team had already previously wrestled Muncy and Montoursville tough.

But last night, against the state’s No. 2-ranked Class AA team, well that was an entirely different animal. Southern Columbia won 13 of the 14 bouts and posted a 64-3 win over the No. 13-ranked Defenders. The Tigers scored at least 60 points for the ninth time in 11 duals this season.

Warrior Run’s lone win was Jeremy Hanford’s 11-5 decision at 126 pounds against freshman Ian Yoder.

“I watched Burrell, one of the top teams in the state, and I’ve watched Chestnut Ridge who is one of the top teams in the state, and I truly believe this is a team that’s going to be there for a state title at the end of the dual-meet season,” Betz said. “They’re good. They’re very good.”

It wasn’t surprising Southern Columbia again scored north of 60 points last night. It’s done that to just about every team it’s wrestled this season. Only Class AAA teams Blue Mountain and Chambersburg have kept the Tigers under 60. But even with that knowledge, the 64-point performance against Warrior Run raised eyebrows because it just doesn’t happen to the Defenders very often.

In fact, in the six years worth of dual-meet scores stored on the Track Wrestling web site, Warrior Run has allowed even 50 points just twice, and once was last year to Southern Columbia. The other was in 2012 to eventual state duals qualifier Benton. But in that time, never have the Defenders given up 60.

“This is a big win for us,” Southern’s Gaige Garcia said. “Putting that many points on the board against a quality team like Warrior Run, we just need to keep improving and things will go good for us.”

“We know Warrior Run is a very good program. We wanted to make a statement,” Southern coach Jerry Marks said. “I know Jeremy and (assistant coach Jason Guffey) are great guys and I know they’re working hard with that group over there. But you can’t take anyone lightly, especially a program like Warrior Run.”

Southern posted nine bonus-point wins last night, including eight falls. It had a 36-0 lead before Hanford finally got Warrior Run on the scoreboard in a gutty performance against Yoder. In that bout, Hanford recorded five takedowns. In the other 13 bouts, it recorded just one more takedown which came from Kaden Majcher at 106 pounds.

Garcia sent the tone in the dual by bumping up and weight and dominating regional qualifier Christian Wachter before recording a fall in 3 minutes, 32 seconds. Lear Quinton followed with a fall at 195, as did Connor Fulmer at 285. Patrick Edmondson and Jaret Lane gave the Tigers five falls before the Defenders picked up their first victory.

“We had some matches where we had good fight for about three or four minutes, but we didn’t finish the match off,” Betz said. “Any time you wrestle good competition, you learn something. Any time you lose to somebody, you learn something. Any time you get pounded like that, there’s lots of things to learn. I don’t like to silver line things, but it is a learning experience that gives us an outline for practice.”

Warrior Run became another victim in a path of destruction levied by Southern Columbia in the season’s first month. Of the possible 924 team points the Tigers could have scored this season, they’ve put 689 on the scoreboard, which is 74.6 percent of the possible points they could have scored.

It’s a group which is motivated each time out by believing it is more than capable of winning a state dual-meet title come February. And in order to maintain that high level of wrestling, there’s no days off. Southern Columbia wrestles each match with the intensity of the state final. Thursday night it left Warrior Run as the latest victim in it’s wake.

All Betz and his team could do afterward was shrug and smile because the Tigers are on a different level than any other District 4 team in recent memory. And last night’s result was less about Warrior Run struggling, and more about how good Southern Columbia is.

“We got some of our better kids against some of their better kids, and their better kids were better than our better kids,” Betz said. “It shows us how to be dominant like that, and if you’re better than somebody, you have to close the match out. Their guys are good at closing matches out.”

Southern Columbia 64, Warrior Run 3

182: Gaige Garcia, S, pinned Christian Wachter, 3:32. 195: Lear Quinton, S, pinned Alex Brouse, 4:51. 220: Sean Sprague, S, dec. Wyatt Fisher, 3-1. 285: Connor Fulmer, S, pinned Jeff Burkhart, 1:31. 106: Garrett Krebs, S, dec. Kaden Majcher, 6-2. 113: Patrick Edmondson, S, pinned Noah Hunt, 3:07. 120: Jaret Lane, S, pinned Keefer Goodspeed, 1:07. 126: Jeremy Hanford, WR, dec. Ian Yoder, 11-5. 132: Jake Renn, S, dec. Dylan Kolenda, 3-2. 138: Mike Miner, S, maj. dec. Justin Wagner, 8-0. 145: Shane Miller, S, dec. Brandon Orwig, 7-4. 152: Cade Linn, S, pinned Sam Crawford, 0:57. 160: Cal Haladay, S, pinned Damein Moser, 1:06. 170: Anthony Scicchitano, S, pinned Ty Kirkner, 3:31.

Records: Southern Columbia (11-0); Warrior Run (3-4).

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