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Indians take down defending TVL champ
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ESCALON — Escalon’s longtime reign in the Trans-Valley League may soon come to an end.

Ripon visited the Cougars on Wednesday and returned home with a 46-24 victory.

“It’s a huge rivalry,” Ripon coach Glen White said. “The last time we beat them was in the section championship in 2012. We felt like we had a pretty strong team going in but it’s always a tough match for us. We’re pretty happy with how things went.”

Things started smoothly for the Indians (2-0 TVL, 4-1 overall).

The match began with the 182-pound match, and Diego Moreno got the fastest pin of the night by stopping Stephan Mendoza in 39 seconds. Jacob Rhodes (195) followed with a 9-3 decision win, and 220-pounder Juan Ruiz defeated Eric Espinoza by fall in 3 minutes, 12 seconds. It was the first varsity match for Ruiz, who is a senior.

“He was our heavyweight on the JV team and he challenged another guy about an hour before the match,” White said. 

Ruiz was one of several Ripon wrestlers who fought off their backs to come through win wins. Donny Fontillas, who normally competes at 126 points, moved up to 130 and edged out Livious Seung, 9-6.

Andrew Huynh (106, 10-1 decision), Jordan Campa (113, second-round pin), Justin Swilley (120, first-round pin), Juan Rodriguez (145, second-round pin) and Dyllan Heald (160, third-round pin) were others who contributed points for the Indians.

“There were quite a few matches that could have gone either way,” White said. “The one thing I like about this team is that they wrestle hard no matter what the situation is. They just don’t give up and it paid off for us.”