Bison Wrestlers Stun Chucks 56-18

PUNXSUTAWNEY – Clearfield Head Coach Jeff Aveni said before Tuesday’s match that bonus points would determine the outcome – and his team did him proud,  racking up pins aplenty in a surprisingly easy win over the Punxsutawney Chucks.


The match started at 189 pounds, which worked in Clearfield’s favor as Lee Zalno, Andre Buck and Sean Owen all earned falls for the Bisons. Kody Lowder followed with a forfeit win at 103, making the score 24-0 after four bouts.


Punxsy temporarily halted the Bison stampede at 112, as undefeated Kody Young quickly took Max Von Gunden down and pinned him in 1:00. However, at 119 pounds Andrew Spicer, who weighed in at 112, got a takedown and 3 nearfall points in the first period on Ty Albright and hung on for a 7-5 victory.


At 125, Holden Lowe dominated the Chucks’ Jim Bullers, leading 15-2 before pinning Bullers at 4:21. Then came two critical “toss-up” matches – at 130 Shane Harper was tied at 3 entering the 2nd period with Scott Salsgiver but was able to quickly pin Salsgiver at 2:29. Richie Queen then took on Punxsy’s Derek Burkett, who entered the bout 6-1. Down 2-0 after 1 period, Queen gave up a penalty point when the referee called an illegal slam. Clearfield lost a team point as Coach Aveni argued the call with the official to no avail. However, this seemed to inspire Queen as after allowing an escape to fall behind 4-0, he was able to hit a cement mixer on Burkett and pin him at 2:58, making the team score 44-6 and ending any hopes of a Chuck comeback.


140 pounds featured one of the most entertaining bouts of the evening between Clearfield’s Dan Henderlong and the Chucks’ Jim Shirley. Henderlong got the initial takedown, but Shirley reversed and earned 3 nearfall points before allowing a Henderlong escape near the end of the 1st period. After the Clearfield wrestler escaped, he then again took Shirley down in the 2nd but allowed another reversal. Shirley quickly reversed in the 3rd period to lead 9-6, but an interlocking call and a Henderlong escape made it 9-8. Henderlong was aggressive throughout the bout and attempted to take Shirley down as the 3rd period expired, but Shirley hung on for a hard-fought 9-8 win.


At 145, freshman Derek Danver took on undefeated Pat Mahan. The bout was tied 3-3 in the third when Mahan was able to get a takedown and 2 separate 2-point nearfalls to pull away, 9-3. At 152, Kasey Casher earned his first win of the season, racking up a 16-5 lead on Easton Renwick before securing the fall at  5:21.


The bout ended with a pin for each team. 160-pounder Shawn Hall took a 5-1 lead before pinning Derek Kerr at 3:03, and at 171 Chucks standout Steve  Cressley pinned Sam Maines in 1:18


With Coach Aveni a bit under the weather, Varsity Assistant Brent Lykens spoke after the match about the team’s performance. He professed to being unsurprised by the outcome as a whole saying that the team’s young core “Fought hard…we stressed being aggressive on our feet, the early falls helped get us rolling, we were able to finish them off when we had them on their backs and our guys fought off their backs well at times”, said Coach Lykens (Clearfield amassed a 15-7 edge in takedowns). Lykens praised Kasey Casher’s win and Dan Henderlong’s tenacity. “Punxsy is very dangerous, capable of racking up a lot of pins, we have to be pleased with our effort”, said Lykens.


With the win, Clearfield improves to 2-1 on the young season, while Punxsutawney drops to 3-5. Next up for Clearfield – Bald Eagle Area, Thursday at 7PM at the Arthur J. Weiss Gymnasium. “[BEA is] well coached and well conditioned, we’ll have to come out gunning again Thursday to win”, said Lykens.

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