Decisive Chase: Arrieta’s win helps GJ top Montrose for first time in years

Grand Junction’s Chase Arrieta stays on top of Montrose’s Matt Sandoval on Thursday night in Arrieta’s 5-3 victory in the 125-pound match. Arrieta’s win helped the Tigers rally past the Indians 38-37.

Grand Junction High School’s first wrestling dual victory over Montrose in a few years came down to Chase Arrieta.

The 125-pound senior came through, defeating Matt Sandoval 5-3 to lift the Tigers to a 38-37 Southwestern League victory Thursday night at Grand Junction High School.

“I knew I had to pull out a win,” Arrieta said. “I had enough confidence in my shots. I couldn’t let my team down, so I wrestled my heart out.”

It was Grand Junction’s first victory over the Indians under coach Cole Allison.

“If it’s going to come down to a match like that, Chase is one of the guys I want out there,” Allison said. “He didn’t wrestle well, but he got the win, so we’ll take it.

“To be honest, I wasn’t pleased with our effort. Even in matches where they are better than us, we’re rolling over too easy. The score says we won, but I felt like we got outwrestled tonight.”

Arrieta scored a takedown with less than a minute left in the third period to defeat Sandoval in the final, decisive match. Sandoval wrestled in place of Geordon Hudson, who was ineligible for the dual.

“It scared me a bit, I’m not going to lie,” Arrieta said. “As soon as he escaped and I looked at the score and it was tied 3-3, I knew I had to leave it all out, because I didn’t want to go to overtime. I thought of what shot to shoot for and shot it. I didn’t get it the first time, but I got it the second time.”

Arrieta wrestled Sandoval in the Montrose Invitational and won, but this time was a much different situation.

“Dual meets are different to me,” Arrieta said. “It’s not only for me, its for my team as well. It definitely felt good winning as a team.”

Montrose coach Kevin Passehl wasn’t disappointed under the circumstances.

“I thought our kids wrestled well considering we had two forfeits and two JV kids in there,” Passehl said. “I was pleased how we wrestled.”

Grand Junction was able to win the dual after rallying from a 19-0 deficit by winning five of six matches, including two by forfeit in the upper weights.

Jessie Hoffschneider, the Class 5A No. 1 ranked 145-pounder, bumped up a weight and dominated Lyle Wright 16-1 to get the Tigers on the board.

Gage Casey pinned Jacob Kirby in 2:56 at 160 and Jonny Pauli picked up a forfeit win at 171.

Montrose senior Bryce Gaber kept the Indians in front, pinning freshman Robbie Gonzalez at 189 in 1:45, but Grand Junction’s Dylan Reed picked up six points with a pin at 215 and Sam Monahan won by forfeit at heavyweight for a 29-25 Junction lead.

The Indians roared back with pins from Jason Cooper and Jeremiah Banuelos at 103 and 112 pounds for a 37-29 lead with two weights left.

Grand Junction’s Dylon Thompson set up Arrieta’s match with a pin at 119 pounds.

Montrose built its 19-0 lead with pins from Drew Schumann (130 pounds) and Chris Sandoval (145). Kordell Bradshaw won a 9-3 decision over Kamron Medina at 135 and Marcus Velasquez won by major decision over Keenan Hal at 140.

“Kamron Medina made one mistake tonight and kind of gave it away, but if you’re looking at score, that possibly won the dual,” Allison said. “He bridged off his back for (nearly) two minutes that last period.”


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