ALAPOCAS – Archmere received three straight pins in the smaller weight classes, but it took a final pin by senior Jake Mottola to clinch a 37-30 Auks win in wrestling on Jan. 26 at Wilmington Friends.
The match started at the 182-lb. class, and after an opening decision for Archmere’s Patrick Wicks, the host Quakers won the next three matches – two by pin – to take a 15-3 lead. Archmere coach Dan Lutz said he was not surprised that Friends controlled the action early.
“We knew that they were good up top, with their heavyweights, but we knew we wrestled well as a team, and it’s all about everybody doing their job, and that’s what we did today,” he said.
The Auks began their comeback when the 113-pounders took to the mat. Sophomore Josh Mottola pinned Friends freshman Peter Cauchy 90 seconds into the two-minute first period. Next, another sophomore, Gary Clements, controlled the first period against freshman Lawson Chou of the Quakers before ending it with a pin with nine seconds to go. That tied the match at 15.
Senior Matt McCurnin kept the streak going at 126 lbs.; he was ahead, 11-1, when he finally finished off his opponent. The streak of pins ended at three, but the Auks kept the momentum going at 132 as freshman Nolan Collins won a major decision. The score at that point was 25-15.
Friends senior Alex Trudel ended the Quakers’ drought with a much-needed pin of freshman Conner Bartholomew, and a forfeit win for the Quakers at 145 put them back on top at 27-25.
Archmere’s Clay Brooks, a sophomore, and Friends’ sophomore Nick Sotiropoulos put on the most entertaining bout of the afternoon in the 152-lb. class. The pair traded first-round takedowns and escapes, and the first two minutes ended with the score tied at seven. Brooks came out in control in the second, scoring three quick back points before pinning Sotiropoulos 39 seconds into the second. The victory gave Archmere a win it would not lose.
“First period, I came out a little quick. I got a little sloppy. He tied the match up. I think I should have been winning, but stuff happens,” said Brooks, who wrestled part of the match with cotton stuffed up one nostril to control a cut he suffered. “In the second period, I knew that if we were going to win this match, I needed a pin right there.”
Friends got to within a point after a decision by sophomore Eric Pincus at 160, but Archmere’s Mottola sealed the win with a pin of John Coons midway through the first period.
Archmere improved to 3-1 in dual meets. The Auks will travel to Tatnall on Thursday for a 4 p.m. start. Friends dropped to 2-4; the Quakers are home to Tower Hill Thursday, also at 4 p.m.