The McDowell Titans split their two opening matches in Northwestern 3A/4A Conference action Friday night, beating West Caldwell and falling to NWC juggernaut St. Stephens on the road.
The Titans (10-15 overall, 1-1 NWC) took advantage of eight West Caldwell forfeits and whipped the Warriors 54-15. The two clubs were relatively evenly matched on the mat, with West winning three of the four bouts that were actually contested (there were two double forfeits).
The Titans’ Trevor Kettles (220 pounds) pinned Spencer Hadley for McDowell’s only on-mat victory.
West Caldwell’s Easton Griffin edged Josh Morgan 7-6 at 170 pounds in the night’s most hard-fought battle. The Warriors’ Devin Bumgarner pinned Tito Landaverdy at 145; and Freddy Guardiola pinned Dalton Byerly at 152.
Preston Dennison (160), Jesse Barrier (182), Jonathan Deal (285), Anthony Price (106), Joseph Thomas (113), Toby Finn (126), Tomas Laws (132) and Calvin Stevenson (138) claimed forfeit wins for the Titans.
Neither club entered wrestlers at 195 and 120.
Against unbeaten St. Stephens (2-0, 28-0), only a pair of decision losses by the Titans kept the Indians from tying the state record (held by McDowell, among other schools) for most dual meet points (84) in a 78-0 shutout.
Finn fell 4-0 to Graham Ormand at 126; and Barrier dropped a 9-5 decision to Justin Beltran at 182. All other bouts were pins or forfeits, with the exception of one injury default.
Daniel Tellez (220) pinned Kettles; Ryan Campbell (295) pinned Deal; Braxton Hankinson (106) pinned Price; Coy Reid (113) pinned Thomas; Omar Orozco (132) pinned Stevenson; Blake Baker (138) pinned Landaverdy; De-Untae Henry (152) pinned Byerly; Ivan Vergel (160) pinned Dennison; and Jordan Boling (170) defeated Morgan via injury time.
McDowell forfeits to Salvador Gilvaja at 195; to Jovanny Urzua at 120; and to Garrett Boling at 145.
The Titans are on the road tonight at Watauga in another NWC tri-meet with the host team and Freedom.