Emerald's Cody Pirkle trips up Ninety Six's Brycen Fleming during their 138-pound match Tuesday. Pirkle dominated Fleming, winning 16-2.
(Andrew macke | index-journal)
After a blunder to fall behind 6-0 after the first match against Ninety Six, the Emerald High School wrestling team needed someone to jump-start the team.
And that spark came from a freshman first-year wrestler who had yet to win a match.
Nicholas Long overcame a 2-point deficit to pin Austin Roche in the second round, tying the match for Emerald and starting an avalanche.
Emerald did not lose another match, scoring seven more pins en route to a 71-6 victory.
"We performed well," Emerald coach Andy Wright said. "The kids were ready. It's always good to wrestle cross-town rivals, the kids are always up for those matches. I think we wrestled great (Tuesday)."
Starting at 120 pounds, Ninety Six's Greyham Rushton trailed Devlin Amyx 4-2 going into the final round. Starting on the bottom, Rushton spun out of a hold and turned Amyx onto his back, scoring a reversal to tie the match before finishing Amyx off with a pin soon after to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.
But Long quickly erased that edge and kicked off the Vikings' rout. Wrestling up from 120 pounds, Roche grabbed a 4-2 edge on the bigger Long and started in the up position to start the second period.
But much like Rushton did in the 120-pound match, Long scored a reversal and rode his momentum to force Roche onto his back to get the pin.
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