By Eric Shannon
Even though the night started out promising for visiting Owasso, it was anything but pleasant as it wore on as fourth-ranked Muskogee pinned the Rams 55-16 in a District 6A-6 dual wrestling match at Ron Milam Gymnasium.
“The kids wrestled hard and came out with the intensity that we needed,” said Rougher coach Bobby Jefferson, his team now 2-1 in duals and 1-0 in 6A-6. “We made a few mistakes here and there but things we can work on and get better.”
In the win the Roughers recorded five pins against the 13th ranked Rams.
“Anytime you can pick up a win over a ranked opponent it's a big deal and I'm proud of how hard our kids worked tonight,” Jefferson said.
Rougher Cori Andrews couldn't escape fifth-ranked Owasso's Teejay Aiono for a 12-1 decision in the 195-pound class, the first match of the evening giving the Rams a 4-0 lead.
However Nigel Harris countered for the home team when he pulled off a major decision with a 9-1 win over Paton Clawson at 220, using a takedown and near fall with under 20 seconds in the final period to even the match.
Not to be outdone, Elijah Pettey dusted Dustin Goff in the first period at 285, getting a pin and a 10-4 Rougher lead with just 1:30 gone on the clock.
Efrain Arteaga picked up a forfeit at 106, then Xavion Taylor at 113 took Jake Caldwell down hard to the mat with 7.6 seconds left in the first period, injuring his left shoulder and putting MHS up 22-4.
Chase Soper didn't waste much time with a pin an win over Hunter Smith at 120 with 35 seconds left in the opening period for a 28-4 advantage before Xavier Taylor’s bid to upset sixth-ranked Jacob Fontanez at 126 ended with a pin and loss at 1:02 of the final period, making it 28-10.
Dalton Harnage picked up a 6-0 decision in three periods over John Hammond in the 132 pound class, pushing the Rougher lead to 31-10.
Unranked Grant Williams pulled a minor upset over ninth-ranked Rougher Matt Acee in the 138 pound class with a 11-5 decision and put three points on the board for the Rams, down 31-13 with five matches left, but with Muskogee’s two top-ranked wrestlers at 145 and 152 on deck.
Dawaylon Barnes pinned Alex McAlpin at 145 with 20 seconds left in the second period, then Jacobe Smith needed just 1:07 to pin Matt Bennett at 152.
The Roughers weren’t done with the pins.
James Buckhanan jammed Cordell Metz into the mat in just 26 seconds at 160, then fourth-ranked Joe Andrews seemed to toy with Hayden Moseby at 170 until pinning him in 1:25 in the second. That made it 55-13, then Haden Kolmer lost for Muskogee at 182 against Landon Hendrickson to end the match.
The Roughers host Sapulpa on Friday.