Despite a late rally in the dual meet, the Nation Ford High wrestling team lost to Northwestern 38-30, ending the team’s chance to make the playoffs after falling to an 0-3 record in Region IV-5A.
Nation Ford led in the early going, but Northwestern started racking up wins and chipping away at the lead until the Trojans eventually bypassed the Falcons and held on for the team victory.
The Falcons went up 9-0 after winning the first two weight classes of the dual with Dylan Tindall getting a pin at 126 pounds to lead things off and Steven Johnson taking a 12-6 decision to get Nation Ford out to the early start.
Northwestern came back to win the next two matches and tied thing at 9-9, before winning at 152 pounds to go ahead 15-9. Nation Ford stayed right at the Trojans’ heels with a 5-0 decision by Bryson Perdue at 160 pounds.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
It was at that point that Northwestern took control of the meet by winning the next four weight classes and going up 35-12.
“We put our guys in position,” Falcons head coach Dan Snell said. “We are young and we are learning some very hard lessons. There were some small things I saw we could build on.”
Trailing by 23 points, Nation Ford did finish strong by winning three of the final four matches. At heavyweight, Aronde Smith won with a second period pin and Solomon Moore won by forfeit at 106 pounds to pull the Falcons to within 11 points with two matches to go. Needing a pin in both matches to win the dual, the Falcons fell in overtime at 113 pounds before Dax Stegall got the win at 120 pounds with a second-period pin.
Two crucial matches that could have gone the other way for Nation Ford came at 220 pounds, where Steven Dodge lost a close 3-1 decision and that 113-pound bout in which Reed Spilmann lost 12-10 after the extra period.
With the loss, Nation Ford entered the final week of the regular season with dual meets against rival Fort Mill before closing out the team portion of the Falcons’ season by hosting Ardrey Kell Jan. 24 for Senior Night.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @MacBanksFM