01/21/11 — Focused Golden Falcons pin rival

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Focused Golden Falcons pin rival

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 21, 2011 1:47 PM

Speak not a word.

Senior heavyweight Jarrod James issued that order to his teammates before the bus left the Charles B. Aycock parking lot, and headed down Highway 117 toward the team's most-important wrestling match of the year at archrival Eastern Wayne.

"Not a word was spoken," smiled Golden Falcons coach Marc Peck. "We walked off the bus as one team, went in there and took care of business."

The Golden Falcons emerged victorious in eight of 12 individual contested matches during their 48-24 triumph, and seized sole possession of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference lead at 3-0. The Warriors, who have lost 15 straight meetings in the series, endured their first league loss of the season in three tries.

"All in all, as young as we are, I'm not disappointed in the effort they gave tonight," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jonathan Jones. "You go out there and wrestle as hard as they did, as a coach you can't go home at night and not be happy with that effort.

"Obviously, I would have liked to see things go different."

The teams battled to a 40-40 draw in a pre-Thanksgiving Day meeting and the Golden Falcons earned the criteria point based on first points scored in individual matches.

No rulebook was needed this time to determine the outcome.

Aycock (16-10 overall) lost the opening match when Eastern Wayne sophomore Warren Kirkwood pinned Jamar Owens late in the opening period at 112 pounds. Jordan Bailey turned the momentum in the Golden Falcons' favor with a 14-10 decision over 119-pounder Tyshawn Koonce.

Bailey's insertion into the lineup occurred after Charlie Mills suffered an injury during a dual tournament last Saturday. Mills' absence forced Peck and assistant coach Mark Bass to retool the lineup and bump the Romo brothers -- David and Daniel -- up a weight class.

"Jordan has worked hard to get down to 119," said Peck. "He's been faithful and been at every practice. I told him 'I believe in your and you're going to get this done.' He went out, got it done and that's what set the tone for tonight."

The win ignited a 21-0 run.

The Romos followed with back-to-back falls at 125 and 130 pounds, respectively. Preston Tucker needed just 76 seconds to pin the Warriors' Aaron Bott at 135 pounds.

"The 125 and 135 matches really threw us because if they lost, they were not supposed to get pinned, so that changed the score drastically," said Jones.

Eastern Wayne (10-8) climbed to within 21-15 on consecutive victories from senior captain Nolan Kirkwood (140 pounds) and junior returning starter Austin Helm. Kirkwood put Zeb Darden on his back twice, but Darden managed to wiggle free and lost 14-7 instead of surrendering six pin points.

"That was big," said Peck.

Aycock won the next three matches in convincing fashion. Zach Rhue, a first-year starter, pinned 152-pounder Quadrick Williams in 22 seconds. Khaleil Owens controlled 160-pounder Jamal Barrett from start to finish in a 9-1 win, while teammate Nick Simmons pinned Dante Jackson 24 seconds into the second period at 171.

The Warriors' final points came on James Barrett forfeit at 215 and Calvin Christian's come-from-behind, 3-1 decision over Jarrod James at heavyweight. Kirkwood, Barrett and Christian -- all seniors -- prevailed in their final home outings of the season.

Nick Jones capped the Golden Falcons' win with a technical fall at 103.

"Everybody was focused, they tasted it and they went after it," said Peck. "I couldn't be more proud of them. We've had some tough losses, some banged up kids throughout the season and we feel like we're starting to peak.

"I believe we're getting there."