Mavs win final six matches to rally past Eagles
Tyler Nelson had just watched Mesa State College heavyweight wrestler Trevor Stapp fall into a pin to put the Mavericks in a big hole Saturday night against Chadron State College.
Mesa’s chances for a win looked bleak after Chadron (3-9, 0-6 RMAC) built a 20-0 lead with the help of a couple of unexpected pins.
First, the Eagles’ 197-pounder, Duke Eardley put Shane Miller on his back in 1:40, then heavyweight R.J. Boylan was pulled down by Stapp, but managed to stay on top and get a pin.
Nelson, a freshman 125-pounder, started a six-match win streak to rally Mesa to a 30-20 victory over the Eagles at Brownson Arena.
“I thought, ‘Oh, crap. We need a win,’ ” Nelson said. “I got real focused. I was kind of (mad).”
Nelson (12-12) broke a scoreless match by putting Dustin Stodola (17-9) in a cradle for a three-point near fall.
Stodola was able to get out of it and score a reverse, but Nelson escaped and held on for a 4-2 win.
“I’m not much of a cradler,” Nelson said. “I think that’s the first one I’ve ever done in a match. It was scary for me.”
From there, the Mavericks (3-4, 2-3 RMAC) took out their frustration from a narrow loss Friday night to 19th-ranked Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University. The Lopes defeated Chadron 32-11 earlier Saturday at Brownson Arena.
Chris Rubalcaba (17-10) followed Nelson’s win by pinning Chadron’s Ryan Fillingame (20-7) with 33 seconds left in the 133-pound match.
“(Friday) was a devastating loss for me,” Rubalcaba said. “I was down from it all night and day. I didn’t want to go 0-2 (this weekend).
“All of us wanted revenge. What better way than with a pin.”
Trevor Donarski (16-9) rebounded from Friday’s loss to Grand Canyon, pinning Hagen Guzman in 6:32 at 141 to cut Chadron’s lead to 20-15.
“Tyler wrestled well,” Mesa coach Chuck Pipher said. “He got us going. Thirty-threes was another big win. Fillingame is tough.
“(Donarski) was going after it and kept taking him to his back, but wouldn’t catch him there. The falls started going.”
Mesa 149-pounder Tyler Juby (10-5) didn’t waste any time, pinning Jake Lords in 15 seconds to put the Mavs ahead 21-20.
“It was my time to do what I do,” said Juby, who pumped his fist in the air after his win. “We were down five points. I knew if I could get a pin, we’d be up one and would get the team rolling.”
Fifth-ranked Chase Walker (15-5) rebounded from his loss Friday and pinned Brian Easterling in 2:54 at 157 pounds to give Mesa a 7-point lead with one match left.
Mesa 165-pound senior Cole Johnson finished it with a 5-0 decision at 165.
“I thought we were pulling him out,” said Pipher of Johnson, who is coming off a shoulder injury. “I didn’t think he would wrestle. There was no pressure, he just wrestled.”