Eagles prevail over Ephrata, claim trophy

By on January 15, 2014

When two teams are as evenly matched as Ephrata and Cocalico, it’s ultimately going to come down to the little things.

That certainly was the case last Thursday in Denver when the two teams locked horns in a battle for the Cocalico Creek Backyard Brawl Trophy.

Ephrata’s David Donnelly (right) holds onto Cocalico’s Max Martin as they hit the mat during a wild scramble in last Thursday’s 138-pound bout. Donnelly went on to win a 6-2 decision. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Ephrata’s David Donnelly (right) holds onto Cocalico’s Max Martin as they hit the mat during a wild scramble in last Thursday’s 138-pound bout. Donnelly went on to win a 6-2 decision. (Photo by Stan Hall)


Cocalico won the battles within the battle, saving one or two team points here, getting three in a key toss-up match there. In the end, it was the difference as the Eagles pulled out an eventual 39-25 decision over the Mounts.

Leading 30-22 with three bouts to go, Cocalico’s Justin Moyer avoided bonus points in his 6-0 loss to Ephrata’s Austin Jones at 106. That set the stage for Adam Miller’s pin of Ephrata’s Cameron Terry at 113 to put this one out of reach and give the Eagles the victory and the aforementioned trophy, which goes out annually to the winner.

“Tonight, all of the (bouts) were critical because we knew it was going to be a close match,” Cocalico Coach Matt Fittery said. “It’s hard to even pinpoint where we gained the edge because every one means something whether it’s someone not giving up the pin or getting the pin or winning a close match.”

“Each guy has to do his role,” he continued. “Sometimes it means to fight hard not to give up bonus points, sometimes it’s doing what you got to do to get the bonus points, and sometimes you have to win that close match. I think for the most part we did that. There were a couple guys who could have done better but overall we did well and got the win.”

Ephrata was without normal starters Joey Sarmento, Ethan Sipe and Charles Sanmartin. The Mounts gave away two critical forfeit wins to the Eagles, but in the end, Ephrata Coach Josh Clair credited Cocalico.

“Cocalico wrestled a great match,” he said. “The forfeits definitely hurt us. We are pretty beat up right now missing some key starters…you never know what happens with those guys, but no excuses. Cocalico came to wrestle and did a great job taking bonus points and not giving them up.”

Cocalico’s Adam Miller (left) gets back points against Ephrata’s Cameron Terry during their bout at 113 pounds. Miller went on to get the fall to clinch the overall team victory. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Cocalico’s Adam Miller (left) gets back points against Ephrata’s Cameron Terry during their bout at 113 pounds. Miller went on to get the fall to clinch the overall team victory. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Ephrata certainly got off on the right foot Thursday, winning four of the first six bouts to grab an early 18-12 lead. Thomas Evans started things off, locking in a cradle against the Eagles’ Ryan Pentz in the opening bout at 126 pounds. His fall in 3:10 gave his team the quick advantage.

After Nathan Quinn picked up a forfeit win at 132, David Donnelly used a big second-period reversal to gain the edge against the Eagles’ Max Martin and cruised to a 6-2 victory. Mike Pacheco then followed up, hitting a double-leg takedown early in the third to go up 7-3 on Hilton Martin of Cocalico. He allowed a late escape but held on for the 7-4 victory.

Following another Ephrata forfeit at 152, Dakota Rohrbaugh pinned Cocalico’s Cameron Steffy in 24 quick seconds to give Ephrata the six-point team advantage.

“Thomas Evans, Dakota Rohrbaugh, and David Donnelly have all been wrestling well as of late, but the best individual effort has to go to Mike Pacheco,” Clair said. “With Cocalico winning the toss we had to send our guy out first at 145, allowing them to match up Hilton Martin on Mike. I thought that was a better match-up for them, but Mike went out and wrestled a great match. He dictated the action on his feet and secured three takedowns and kept Martin away from his great cradle.”

But with Ephrata holding the team lead, Cocalico quickly tied it with Grant Gehlert’s pin of Bryan Rohrbaugh at 170, and the Eagles took over from there.

Abdul Saad gave the Eagles the lead for good at 24-18 with a third-period fall vs. Ephrata’s Bobby Nye at 182. Then, after a double forfeit at 195, Cocalico’s Noulong Lor was able to stay off his back against Ephrata strong man Cameron Eisenhauer at 220. Eisenhauer did go on to record a 9-0 major decision, but he got four points instead of six and the Eagles still led 24-22.

At heavyweight, Cocalico’s John Fry decked Jeremiah Kreider in 1:03 to make it 30-22 before Moyer saved some bonus points in his loss to Jones.

He gave up just three, which cut the Cocalico lead to 30-25, but Miller then sealed the deal with his fall at 113. Cocalico’s Lucas Lees then added the finishing touches to this one with a 3-0 victory over Vince Evans in the final bout of the night at 120.

The win was Cocalico’s first Section Two win of the season, but fifth overall, which is another sign this squad of mostly freshmen and sophomores is improving with time.

“Absolutely it is big,” Fittery said of the win. “It’s exciting when we have the numbers that we can actually go out there and have a chance to win a match. These are young guys too, and they are really improving. At the beginning of the year it looked like things could be a little rough. But they’ve gotten so much better…it’s incredible to watch, how some of them have improved. I’m just real proud of them.”

Cocalico returned to section action Monday night at home vs. Section Two leader Garden Spot. And while the Eagles hung with the Spartans for most of the way, in the end, GS did come away with a 42-21 team win.

Lees picked up the lone pin for Cocalico at 120 to lead the way. Saad (182), Miller (113) and Quinn also added big decision victories for Cocalico in the loss.

Ephrata returned to action this past Saturday at Hempfield where the Mounts’ depleted lineup was no match for the host Black Knights in a 75-3 Hempfield win.

Pacheco secured the lone win of the day for Ephrata, claiming an 8-4 victory at 145.

Up next, both local squads will be back in action Wednesday as Cocalico hosts E-town while Ephrata hits the road to face CV.

About ephratareview

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *