• Fred Main/News Mount Vernon’s Steven Schisler, top, takes control of his opponent, Hilliard Darby’s Matthew Taphorn, just before he pinned him for a win in the 182-pound weight class during their duel match Thursday at Pleasant Street gym. Schisler’s pin helped spark the Yellow Jackets to a 39-24 victory over the Panthers.
  • Fred Main/News Mount Vernon’s Rylan Firebaugh carries Hilliard Darby’s Ahmed Deifallah on his back during their 120-pound match Thursday at Pleasant Street gymnasium. Firebaugh won a 9-1 decision.

Schisler lead charge over Hilliard Darby

MOUNT VERNON — A packed house. A formidable opponent. All the Mount Vernon wrestling team and its fans needed was a reason to pop.

Enter Steven Schisler.

The 182-pound junior trailed 2-1 late in the second period of his match when he provided the spark that almost blew the roof off the Pleasant Street Elementary gymnasium. Schisler got a nice reversal, then pinned Hilliard Darby’s Matthew Taphorn with 26 seconds left in the period, setting off a huge explosion and sparking the Jackets to a 39-24 victory over the Panthers.

“Steven has worked his butt off. All that hard work in the weight room and on the mat really paid off tonight,” said Mount Vernon coach Nate Cornell. “His win got everybody excited. … He was a shark that smelled blood and he took care of business.”

Schisler was one of eight Yellow Jacket wrestlers to win in their first match of the season. Triston Bowens, a state qualifier from a year ago, started off the night strong at 145 pounds, recording a 15-3 technical fall over Luke Johnston.

After Elijah Yarman was pinned at 152, the Jackets won the next four weight classes to take control.

Ryan Tiell, a state alternate a year ago, pinned Eric Cathala in just 2:26. Wyatt Gregory then registered an 11-4 victory over Isaiah Beneker at 170, followed by Schisler’s win at 182. Gabe Harmon then recorded a solid 8-2 victory over Matthew Taphorn at 195 and the Jackets were on their way.

“Our captains, all six of them, wrestled like captains tonight,” Cornell said. “Triston Bowens started off the night with a quick technical fall. I’ve been telling the kids to score, score, score. That’s exactly what Triston did.

“Wyatt wrestled one of their better kids (Beneker) and wore him down. Wyatt’s in good shape from football, but we’re still trying to get him into wrestling shape. He’s mentally tough, that’s for sure. … And Gabe wrestled a district qualifier and controlled him.”

Darby got a forfeit, then two straight wins to close the gap, but Colton Spurgeon slammed the door on the Panthers with a pin in just 1:25 at 113 pounds.

Freshman Rylan Firebaugh showed he belonged on a varsity mat, securing a nice 9-1 victory over Ahmed Deifallah at 120.

Jacob Burrell was the final Jacket to win, pinning Sam Pennington at 126 with just seven seconds left in the first period.

“This is exactly what we wanted. We usually start with the Bad Apple (Brawl), but we wanted to go tonight. It worked great,” Cornell said. “This will give us a lot of motivation in practice tomorrow to keep things rolling. We want to go to the Bad Apple and repeat as champs.”

The Jackets will host the Bad Apple Brawl on Saturday at Mount Vernon High School beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eighteen teams will vie for the title. The wrestling media giant Inside the Circle will broadcast the finals live, at approximately 4 or 5 p.m.

“We’ll get to showcase the kids, the tournament and the community,” Cornell said. “It’ll increase the intensity and desire to get to the finals.”

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Fred Main: 740-397-5333 or fmain@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @http://twitter.com/mountvernonnews