RED BANK -- Josiah Schucht's job was simple: don't get pinned. He did that and more to help Wall earn a critical division victory on Saturday morning.

With Wall holding a two-point lead over Long Branch with two bouts left, Schucht won by 2-0 decision in overtime over Danny Rios at 138 pounds to give his team a five-point lead. Freshman Rob Kanniard followed with a pin in the final bout and the Crimson Knights, ranked No. 6 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, took down the No. 7 Green Wave 34-23 in an important Class B North match at Red Bank Catholic.

Schucht, who was 5-9 as a freshman, scored the only points of the bout with a takedown in sudden victory overtime to take out Rios, a senior who was 15-8 last season but was wrestling for the first time this season. His win put Long Branch in a pin-to-win scenario with freshman Luke Arnold battling Kanniard at 145 pounds. Kanniard made it a moot point by getting the pin in 2:40, but it was Schucht's win that allowed Wall to breath easier heading into the last bout.

"I was a little nervous coming out," Schucht said. "We were up by two and coach told me just to save points. At the end of the third it was 0-0 so I figured just go for it."

"What Josiah did today is the epitome of why I love coaching," said Wall head coach Brian Fischer. "Josiah is not one of our standout guys, but what he does is come to practice every day, never has an excuse, constantly asks questions and always gives 110 percent. Today he had the opportunity to make the most of what he has put into this sport and was able to pull out a big win in overtime."

Wall (7-0, 3-0) won nine of the 14 bouts and received bonus points from victories by Josh Glantzman, Jack Kelly and Kanniard. Glantzman is normally a 160-pounder but bumped up to 182 pounds and pinned Dan Santos-Silva in 4:43 as part of a strong start where the Knights won five of the first six bouts for an 18-6 lead.

Wall is talented, but its achilles heel is depth. The lineup is static for the most part, so there isn't anyone to plug in in case of injury or for matchup purposes.

"Because we don't have a lot of guys and because wrestling is 14 guys at 14 different weight classes, everyone knows they could show up at any time in any of three different weight classes," Fischer said. "They have to be ready to wrestle anyone."

"We know coach Fischer will put is in the best spot to win the match," Glantzman said. "We trust him completely."

Kelly's 9-1 major decision over Carlos Irizzary at 120 pounds put Wall up 22-20 after Long Branch had taken a 20-18 lead with three straight wins from heavyweight to 113.

For the first time in three seasons, Wall was able to field a full lineup in an important divisional match.

"I don't think we've ever had a full lineup until this year," said Glantzman, a senior. "Last year we didn't have (Brett) Donner and (Chad) McClelland for almost the whole season. The year before we didn't have (Nick) Wagner. It's awesome to finally have everybody."

Senior Danny Mullan gave Long Branch a 6-0 lead when he pinned Alex Cortez in 3:02 at 152 pounds to open the match. Wall won the next five bouts, however, to take a 12-point lead. McClelland held off Mike Shohet in a battle between region qualifiers, 4-3 in double overtime at 160 pounds, for the Knights' first win. McClelland led 1-0 entering the third period before Shohet scored a reversal in the third to take a 2-1 lead. McClelland escaped to force overtime, and in double overtime Shohet was called for locking hands to give McClelland a 3-2 lead. He the escaped to make it 4-2 before a late stalling call made it 4-3.

Lamont Reid did a good job holding bonus points against Donner, who is ranked No. 19 nationally at 170 pounds. Donner won 8-3 to tie the match at six, and Glantzman followed with a pin at 182 to put Wall up 12-6. Long Branch also did a good job holding bonus points against state medalist Matt McKenzie at 195 pounds. McKenzie defeated Peter Wersinger 7-0 for a 15-6 Wall lead.

A third-period reversal by Shane Davis at 220 pounds was enough for him to nip Hunter Marhan, 2-1, and give Wall an 18-6 lead. Long Branch would win the next three bouts to take a 20-18 lead, starting with senior Joey Jasio defeating Darryl Valme 3-0 at heavyweight.

Jasio should be down to 220 pounds by Wednesday when heavyweight John Tomlinson is also scheduled to return to the lineup.

At 106, freshman Ray Guzman won by 21-6 technical fall in 5:26 over Wall freshman Theodore McGowan. Guzman led 2-0 after one period, but poured it on over the final 3:26 with three takedowns and a reversal in the second and four takedowns in the third. Sophomore Chris Dean followed with a first-period pin over freshman Mike Rocha to put Long Branch ahead by two.

After Kelly's win gave Wall the lead again, senior Joe Demuner delivered a 12-5 decision over Isaac Shohet at 126 pounds. A back-and-forth bout that saw both wrestlers come close to recording a fall, Demuner scored a reversal off a scramble in the second period and put Shohet to his back for a second time to lead 10-5 heading to the third. He added a reversal in the third and rode out Shohet the rest of the way.

Wall had a chance take at least an eight-point lead with two bouts left with Region VI fourth-place finisher Nick Wagner taking the mat at 132 pounds, but Long Branch senior T.J. Conlon won 4-2 in overtime to keep Long Branch in a good spot. Wagner had a takedown in the first period but was ridden out by Conlon in the second. In the third period, Conlon scored a reversal to send the bout to overtime. Wagner came up clutching his hamstring at the end of the third period, and in taking injury time for the second time in the bout, Conlon was awarded his choice of starting position to begin overtime. He chose defense and won the bout with a reversal to make the team score 25-23 with two bouts remaining.

Even though Rios was making his season debut, he was still favored over Schucht and had great potential to secure bonus points.

"At 138 we were just hoping we would only lose by a decision so we could still come back with Kanniard," Fischer said.

After a scoreless first period, Rios held Schucht down for the entire two minutes of the second period. Schucht was able to do the same in the third to force overtime, then finally found his shot in sudden victory.

"I was confident from the beginning and I believed in my shot," Schucht said. "I knew he had the stall (warning) so I just kept pushing the pace. When I finally got the shot he almost winged me, but I got my head through and got the two."

"It's a big confidence booster going into all my matches coming up."

Kannird built a 10-0 lead on Arnold before registering the pin - his 11th win of the season - to send Wall one step closer to securing a division title.

"I think we're right there with anybody," Glantzman said. "If we bring our "A" game there's not many teams that can stop us."

 

Box Score

Wall 34, Long Branch 23

152: Danny Mullan (LB) p. Alex Cortez 3:02

160: Chad McClelland (W) d. Mike Shohet 4-3 2OT

170: Brett Donner (W) d. Lamont Reid 8-3

182: Josh Glantzman (W) p. Dan Santos-Silva 4:43

195: Matt McKenzie (W) d. Peter Wersinger 7-0

220: Shane Davis (W) d. Hunter Marhan 2-1

HWT: Joey Jasio (LB) d. Darryl Valme 3-0

106: Ray Guzman (LB) tf. Theodore McGowan 5:26 (21-6)

113: Chris Dean (LB) p. Mike Rocha 1:58

120: Jack Kelly (W) md. Carlos Irizzary 9-1

126: Joe Demuner (W) d. Issac Shohet 12-5

132: T.J. Conlon (LB) d. Nick Wagner 4-2 OT

138: Josiah Schucht (W) d. Danny Rios 2-0 OT

145: Rob Kanniard (W) p. Luke Arnold 2:40

Records: Long Branch (5-1, 4-1); Wall (7-0, 3-0).

 

Wrestling editor Bob Badders can be reached at badders@allshoremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook.