RIPON – Ripon drew first blood during Wednesday’s Trans Valley League matchup against its visiting rival Escalon.
Javier Hernandez tallied the night’s first pin and put the Indians up six, but the Cougars would not be denied and came storming back to defeat Ripon, 58-15.
“We would have liked to wrestle a little bit better than that,” Ripon head coach Glen White said. “But (Escalon) is really tough this year. They have a lot more experience than us and it showed. We’re a little young, but we wrestled hard.”
Especially fourth-year varsity wrestler Edgar Gonzales at 132, who capped the match with an exclamation point on Senior Night.
Ripon trailed by 46 at that point, but that didn’t stop Gonzales from putting up an inspired fight. He finished off the contest with a 4-0 victory over Escalon’s Cameron Dubois.
“Just finish strong,” said Gonzales, who scored two in the first and two in the second and hung on. “I tried to get the crowd into it and get some life in this. We were down too much, and I wanted to go out with a bang.”
After Hernandez (138) provided a 6-0 cushion with a 2-minute, 12-second pin over Escalon’s Justice Redding, the Cougars reeled off seven straight wins including four pins to take a 37-6 advantage.
Escalon’s Colton Camara (145) tied the match at 6-6 with a pin over Ripon’s Gabe Barnett.
After Josh Redding (152) and Frankie Bauburro (160) of Escalon defeated Dyllan Heald (18-6) and Angelo Calderon (10-6), the Indians trailed 13-6.
Escalon’s Austin Martinez (170) tallied a first-round pin, which was followed by another opening-round fall by Matt Gallego (182). Ripon’s standout 220-pounder Tristan Smithalso lost in 1:27 against Dominic Frage, which made it 37-6 at that point.
“We wrestled good,” Escalon head coach Derek Scott said. “We got 14 guys that are all dangerous. I thought we did a good job. We had two guys that got caught, one guy that got outwrestled. So for (13 matches) it was a good job.”
Ripon’s last victory came from David Goforth at the heavyweight division. Goforth made it 37-12 after he pinned Marc Camerona with 32 seconds left of the six-minute match.
Matt Fisher (106) and Kendyl Post (113) both were pinned for Ripon late.
At 120 pounds, Ryan Crandall trailed 4-0 early against Clayton Jones before cutting his deficit in half. Jones finished with a 4:55 pin, which was followed by Cris Delgado (126) losing 6-0 against Trent Busch of Escalon.
Escalon 33, Ripon 30
Chris Fisher (132), Brent White (138) and Ben Azevedo (160) all picked up pins for the Indians. Fisher finished his opponent in 1:38, White in 2:31 and Azevedo in 3:26.