Riders make statement, pin Golden Knights 36-30

Mike Primo of CR battled Sussex Central’s Yony Morales Garcia to an 11-2 decision on the 120 pound match. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

CAMDEN — It’s been a couple of years since the Caesar Rodney High wrestling team won a match like this.

Way too long, according to the Riders.

The Riders earned a huge Henlopen Conference Northern Division victory on Wednesday night, edging the defending Division I champions Sussex Central High 36-30.

Mason Ankrom of Sussex Central scores back points on CR’s Pat Wisniewski enroute to a 9-8 decision in the 106 pound match Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Caesar Rodney had not defeated Sussex Central since Jan. 17, 2014, which was also the same year it last reached the finals of the Division I dual meet tournament.

“This means we’re coming back to where we were,” said CR coach Dan Rigby. “We’re kind of climbing back to the relevant ranks but we don’t want to settle there.”

Ben Anderson sealed it for the Riders (2-0 Henlopen North, 4-0 overall) with a pin in the second to last match of the evening at 145 pounds. Anderson normally wrestles at 132 but bumped up two weight classes as CR tried to maximize its points.

Anderson recorded the pin with eight seconds left in the second period before rushing over to jump into his teammates arms at the edge of the mat after having his hand raise.

Kevin Bowne of Caesar Rodney trying to put Sussex Central’s Cole Jester on his back in the 113 pound bout Wednesday night. Bowne won by decision 9-1 Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“It’s so exhilarating,” he said. “You know you just clinched a match and your whole team is waiting for you. It’s just a great feeling. I knew I would have to come through big for the team. I knew I had to get the pin because otherwise it would be close.”

Anderson found out on Tuesday he would be moving to 145 pounds for Wednesday’s matchup.

Mike Wright of Sussex Central is seconds away from pinning Austin Eyong of CR in the 1st period of their match at 182 pounds. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“He knew that’s where we needed him for the team,” Rigby said. “It was a risky move but he came through. I’m really happy with that result.”

Sussex Central (2-1 Henlopen North, 3-1 overall) led 18-0 after the first four bouts before Caesar Rodney’s heavyweights brought the Riders back.

Brenden Holder earned the first points of the night for CR with a second-period pin in the 220-pound match. Kevin Hudson followed at heavyweight with a pin in 3:41.

“We’re getting back to the original Caesar Rodney wrestling,” Holder said of the victory. “We want to be where we’re supposed to be, back on top.”

CR’s Paul Hicks takes Yunior Cruz of Sussex Central to the mat in the 195 pound match. Cruz won by decision 6-1 in double overtime. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

The Riders reeled off three consecutive major decisions from 113 to 126 pounds before forfeiting at 132 to Central’s Rashad Stratton. That set the stage for back-to-back pins by Jackson Dean (138) and Anderson to clinch the match.

Kevin Bowne (113), Mike Primo (120) and Cam Hayes (126) recorded the major decisions for Caesar Rodney.

“Our guys that we don’t normally count on tonight came through and some of our hammers didn’t come through,” Rigby said. “That’s team wrestling. We’ll be happy with this one but we’ve got to get better too.”

Sussex Central was paced by pins from Devin Pearsal (160) and Michael Wright (182).

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