SPARTA — There were three matchups that Mount Vernon wrestling coach Nate Cornell was especially looking forward to at Highland Thursday night, and the Yellow Jackets made it a clean sweep.
Rylan Firebaugh (120 pounds), Jacob Burrell (126) and Gabe Shannon (132) all came out with victories and the Yellow Jackets rolled to a 60-18 win over the Fighting Scots in a non-league dual.
“Those three matches were swing matches,” Cornell said. “The boys did a nice job of winning them and also getting two pins out of those three matches. That was a very impressive performance by those guys.”
Firebaugh, a freshman, took a 1-0 lead with an escape in the second period of the 120-pound matchup. But Gavin DeAngelo’s escape in the third tied it up and sent it into overtime.
Firebaugh’s take-down in the extra period quickly turned into a pin at the 48-second mark to give the Jackets the win.
Firebaugh has been wrestling up a weight class because Colt Spurgeon, who had earned a second-period pin at Highland, has the 113-pound weight class nailed down.
“At the start of the year, I was thinking about cutting to 113, but (Spurgeon) is such a stud,” Firebaugh said. “So, the whole season, I’ve been a little smaller for my weight.”
The relationship between the two has been a key to Firebaugh’s success this season.
“Just having a mentor has helped me through (the season),” Firebaugh said.
“They’ve always been really tight,” Cornell said. “They came up through the Killer Bees together. They push each other. Rylan has gotten a lot better from the start of the season because he and Colt wrestle together. It’s good for both of those guys.”
MV’s Jacob Burrell (126) continued that momentum with a 3-1 decision thanks to a takedown of Kaden Miller in overtime.
Gabe Shannon (132) earned a pin-fall victory one minute into the first to complete the sweep of the weight classes.
Triston Bowens (138), Wyatt Gregory (170) and Steven Schisler (182) each earned pin-fall victories for the Jackets, while Gabe Harmon (195) won a 1-0 decision over Triston Hinkle.
“I’m happy with Triston because he dropped a weight class,” Cornell said. “When you drop a weight class, that takes a lot of you mentally and physically. Some guys go out there and don’t wrestle very well. He went out and wrestled just like he was a 100 percent.”
The Scots weren’t without their highlights, though. Landon Pedigo (220) won the finale in nail-biting fashion. With the score tied 6-6 going into the final period, MV’s Jasper Dillon had a takedown and a near-fall to go up 10-6 with less than a minute left.
Pedigo rolled out of the pinning predicament and reversed before earning the pin with 13.5 seconds remaining.
Johnny Stevens (145) and Christian Miller (152) each earned second-period pins to cap the Scots’ scoring.
“The kids at Mount Vernon are very good and they got some more experience on us,” Highland coach Adam Gilmore said. “But our kids fought hard. That’s a good program … that’s why they’re on our schedule because we want to wrestle good teams with good kids that work hard. That’s what’s going to make us better is to have good competition.”
Highland is back in action Saturday morning at the Jimmy Wood Memorial Invitational at New Lexington, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
MV, meanwhile, is off until Thursday night when it hosts Pickerington North in the home finale. The dual at Pleasant Street Elementary begins at 6:30 p.m.
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