Milford wrestlers pick up 42-19 dual meet win over Vikings

LEWES — Jordan Passwaters started it, Trent Grant and Jack Thode finished it.

The visiting Milford High wrestling squad picked up a 42-19 dual meet win over host Cape Henlopen High Wednesday night, using a trio of pins from Passwaters, Grant and Thode to cement the late-season, 23-point win.

“Cape has a real nice team, they did a good job, we were just able to fight through it today,” said Milford coach Don Parsley.

It marks the second straight year the Bucs (11-1) defeated the Vikings (15-3) in a dual meet by 20 or more points, but the scoreboard didn’t quite tell the whole story of the match.

Milford grabbed 10 individual wins to Cape’s four, but six of those 10 wins were by decision.

“If you look at the score, you go, ‘boy, they really dominated,’ but did we really? They won a couple of close matches, we won three, four or five close matches,” said Parsley. “You’re talking about a two- or three-point swing in each match changes the total outcome.”

Three of those six decisions were decided by two or less points. The other three decisions had a four-point or less deficit heading into the match’s final period.

“Overall, the match-ups were there,” said Cape coach Chris Mattioni. “I thought we’d split 7-7 then it’d come down to bonus points, a couple of things didn’t go our way early on. I don’t think the score really shows the closeness.”

Starting in the 138-pound match, Cape’s Finbar Rishko and Milford’s Dominic Feightner battled through three periods with a 2-2 tie.
Rishko earned the 4-2 sudden victory decision with just eight seconds remaining in the one-minute sudden victory period.

In the second match of the night, Passwaters (145) put the Bucs up 6-3 with a second period pin of Cape’s Juan Lares.

“Coach just told me I needed to get six, so I went out there and got my six,” said Passwaters.

From there, Milford built up a 15-3 lead with three consecutive decisions from freshman Dalton Deevey (152), junior Gaij Copes (160) and sophomore Rafael Mejia (170).

Trailing 6-3 after the first period, Deevey battled back to defeat Cape’s Andre Currie by 14-12 decision.

Ahead 10-3 heading into the third period, Copes fended off a comeback attempt by Cape’s Jackson Handlin to earn the 10-8 decision.
Mejia grabbed the decisive 8-1 decision over Cape’s Royuan Jones in his match.

Cape senior Christopher Handlin pinned Milford’s Bevensky Augustin in the third period of the 182-pound match to pull the Vikings to within 15-9.

Eric Bennett pulled away with the crucial 13-11 decision over Cape’s Eduardo Saez in the 195-pound match.

Cape senior Billy Ott dominated the 220-pound bout, earning a 14-0 major decision for the Vikings to pull to within five points, 18-13, heading into the heavyweight match.

Anthony Diaz (285) tacked onto Milford’s team lead with a 10-4 decision over Cape freshman Lucas Ruppert.

“I have some guys who I can move around and get some good match-ups and have opportunities,” said Parsley. “So, the good thing is I have the freedom and flexibility to do that, which really makes it hard for other teams.”

A forfeit win by Milford sophomore Corey Messick (106) handed the Bucs a 27-13 lead before consecutive pins from Thode (113) and Grant (120) put the match away.

Cape sophomore Darryl Sykes put the first two points on the scoreboard in the 113-pound match, but Thode responded with a pin just 50 seconds into the bout.

“I knew he’s a good wrestler – at throwing, at least – so when I went in there, I just tried to stay away from that, but I got caught into it,” Thode said. “As soon as that happened, I figured I might as well wrestle it through, then I found an opportunity and took it.”

Grant followed it up with a pin of Cape’s Joseph McLean with 59 seconds remaining in the first period of the 120-pound match to put the Bucs ahead 39-13 with just a pair of bouts remaining.

Milford freshman Tim O’Hara (126) grabbed a 5-3 decision over Cape’s Michael Frederick.

Cape’s Anthony Caruso (132) capped the dual meet with a second period pin of Milford freshman Averi Copes.

“We’re getting back into it,” Thode said. “There was a time where we were started going into a slump, with injuries, but we’re getting back into and getting people back healthy. I feel like we’re going to have a good run for states.”

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