Passehl's pin avoidance lifts Mavs to win over Lancers
Jordan Passehl was about to get pinned.
The Colorado Mesa University sophomore wrestler was on his back in a headlock Thursday night at Brownson Arena. It would’ve been easy to quit fighting, but he didn’t give up.
“It was awful,” Passehl said. “It was tight that’s for sure. Losing sucks, and getting pinned is even worse. I had to get off my back and wrestle the rest of the match.”
Passehl (3-1) kicked and squirmed his way loose, then kept fighting, eventually coming through for a 10-8 overtime victory over California Baptist University’s David Dill at 197 pounds to seal the No. 14 Mavericks’ 24-18 victory over the young, pesky Lancers. California Baptist defeated the Mavericks last season in Riverside, Calif.
“Jordan did save the day,” CMU coach Chuck Pipher said. “That was pure guts right there. For him to came out and show that kind of heart ... We’ve had guys going all year that didn’t show the heart they should’ve had.
“For him to stick that out was pretty dang tremendous. (Dill) had a great headlock on him. (Passehl) basically did what they call a kickstand and kept an arm up. Part of it is his leverage, but a big part of that is his heart. There are other guys that won, too, but that was the key match right there.”
The Mavericks (7-1) needed Passehl’s win with Mesa clinging to a 21-15 lead, knowing rematches from last season at 197 and 285 pounds were upcoming, and the Lancers had won both last year.
California Baptist (3-6) won two of the first three matches by pin for a 12-3 lead, but Justin Schumacher turned the momentum into the Mavericks’ favor with a pin at 149 pounds.
Third-ranked Jon Gappmaier followed with an 8-2 victory at 157. Then, Mesa’s Chester Granard pinned Anthony Ballinger at 165 pounds, and Mitch Wyatt won a 12-6 decision at 174 for a 21-12 lead for the Mavericks.
“Chester wrestled well,” Pipher said. “Mitch Wyatt wrestled well. That was a good win for him. Schumacher got us some good points there (with a pin).”
The Lancers got the momentum back with a bit of an upset.
Paul Head (8-11) defeated Mesa All-American Nick Petersen 5-3 to get the Lancers within six points going into the final two matches.
“(The Mavs had) no life, no nothing,” Pipher said. “Gappmaier is coming off his injury a little but, so he was a little sluggish. Thirty-threes we won by the skin of our teeth. We were not being aggressive. Nick Petersen had nothing in the third period.”
Passehl, who recently returned from a knee injury, may not be in ideal shape, but he had plenty of determination. Dill defeated Passehl 10-3 in a dual last season in Phoenix.
“The thing (assistant coach) Charlie (Alexander) would talk to me and (heavyweight) Paco (Retana) about was redemption,” Passehl said. “We had to get back and get a win for ourselves.”
Passehl missed the first two months of the season with a torn knee ligament. He went 2-1 last weekend in his first matches since being cleared to wrestle.
“I feel pretty good,” Passehl said. “I felt pretty good last weekend. I just need to keep working hard and improve on the things I need.”
Colorado Mesa and California Baptist will be at the Tracy Borah Duals at Western State Colorado University on Saturday, but they will not wrestle each other there.
“We need to come out more ready, overall as a team from start to finish on the mat and even off the mat on the bench.” Passehl said.