12/09/09 — Eagles cage Bulldawgs

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Eagles cage Bulldawgs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 9, 2009 1:47 PM

Carolina 1-A Conference heavyweight Rosewood started a little slow in its non-conference wrestling match against archrival Princeton on Tuesday evening.

Zach Behrend quickly changed the pace.

Battling a queasy stomach, the junior outlasted nemesis Matt Evans 2-0 at 125 pounds. The nail-biting triumph helped fuel a 34-point run as the Eagles rolled past the Dawgs 52-19.

"Princeton is always a great rivalry match for us," said Rosewood coach Bill Edmundson. They are right across the county line (and) almost all of our athletes know their athletes. It's a big match and I am very proud of the performance of our wrestlers."

Short-handed Princeton (1-5 overall) claimed two of the first three individual bouts. Derek West scored a major decision (10-2) over the Eagles' Taylor McGill and teammate Logan Rains earned a first-period pin over Chris Campbell at heavyweight.

The early advantage was short-lived. The Dawgs forfeited the next three matches before Behrend and Evans took the mat.

The two grapplers battled through two scoreless periods. Evans, a sophomore, appeared on the verge of an upset when he put Behrend's head to the mat and nearly executed a pin combination.

Behrend slipped free, switched his position and recorded the match-clinching, two-point reversal in the final 10 seconds. A junior, Behrend remained the area's lone unbeaten wrestler at 14-0 this season.

"They have quite a history (and) the match did not disappoint anyone," said Edmundson.

Rosewood 130-pounder Scott Pate and 135-pounder Matt Coley each followed with a victory. Pate logged a major decision (14-0) against David Waddell, while Coley pinned Drew Malarchik with 17 seconds remaining in the opening period.

"Scott likes to score points and not necessarily go for the pin," said Edmundson. "When you are in a tight match with an equal wrestler, it's the wrestlers who have the technique and experience scoring who are going to win the match over someone who just likes to win by pinfall."

The Eagles' Josh Tapp posted a come-from-behind, 8-7 victory over Harley Carter at 140 pounds. The Dawgs' B.J. Creech halted the run with a second-period fall over Tyler Dean at 145 pounds. Creech picked up his team-leading seventh win of the season.

The teams split the final two individual matches.

"We had some good individual efforts," said Princeton coach Terry Braswell. "Overall, I'm pleased, but we're still young and still learning our moves."

The teams return to action Saturday in the 14th Eagle Invitational at Rosewood. The 21-team event begins approximately at 9:15 a.m. and admission is $7.