Rider grapplers defeat rival Senators 41-23

Photos special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — Ben Anderson spent the last portion of the first period of his match trying to fight off his back to avoid being pinned.

By the time his bout entered the final seconds of the third period, it was Anderson who was in control.

The Caesar Rodney High sophomore went from possibly surrendering six points to Dover High, to earning three valuable points for the Riders.

That victory in a key swing match, coupled with two late pins by Isaiah Washington and Brenden Holder, allowed CR to hold off Dover for a 41-23 dual meet victory on Friday night between the two Henlopen Conference Northern Division rivals.

Dover was attempting to win a regular season dual meet over Caesar Rodney for the first time since Feb. 3, 1995.

Anderson was nearly pinned late in the first period of the 126-pound contest. He spent close to 10 seconds with both shoulders nearing the mat and had to kick his way out of the predicament to hang on until the buzzer sounded.

Down by five points, he was able to tie the match 6-6 in the third period before he earned three points in the final seconds of the third period.

“I was just rocking back and forth,” Anderson said of the first period. “If there was more time on the clock, maybe I would have been stuck. But you’ve got to keep fighting. I was thinking just because I was down by five shouldn’t make me a defensive wrestler. That’s how you stay down, when you start wrestling defensive. … This is a big win for us.”

Anderson’s match was part of a six-match win-streak for the Riders which allowed them to open up a 26-6 advantage after the halfway point.

Dover won four of the next five to pull within 29-23 with two matches remaining. That’s when Washington (195 pounds) sealed it with a first-period pin.

Holder (220) added to the CR celebration with a pin in 1:35 in the night’s final bout.

The Riders were also led on the night by a pin from Mike Primo (106) and a technical-fall by Jackson Dean (132).

“Ben Anderson really did well in a big one and then the other guys went out and did what they needed to do,” said assistant coach Chris Harris who was acting as CR’s head coach Friday. “That’s what it came down to. Isaiah and Brenden then did a great job at the end to wrap it up.”

Now the two teams will wait until Sunday for when the six-team field for the Division I state dual meet tournament is announced.

Caesar Rodney ended its regular season at 3-3 in the Henlopen North and 7-4 overall. Dover fell to 2-4 in the Henlopen North but is 12-5 overall, its highest win total in at least 10 season.

The tournament pairings will be announced around noon on Sunday. It will be hosted by Smyrna High on Tuesday night.

“I think we prepared well for this,” Harris said. “We work hard everyday so when we go into a match, it’s just another match. We wanted to do our best tonight and I think that’s what we did.”

Heavyweight Bradley Anyanwu and Anthony Fisher, who competed at 145 pounds Friday, paced the Senators with a first-round pin each in their matches. Divine Watkins and Daimere Wilson-Turner added major-decisions.

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