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Depth, power, balance, talented underclassmen and veteran stalwarts. It was all on display for Southern Regional on Thursday in another impressive victory.

The Rams, ranked No. 1 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, won nine of 14 bouts, fueled by a five-bout winning streak from 132-160 pounds, and dispatched of No. 4 Brick Memorial, 41-23 for a key Class A South victory in the Jersey Mike’s Match of the Week.

Seniors JT Cornelius, Jason Sari and Ben LoParo, and freshman Cole Velardi won by fall, while sophomore Pat Iacoves and junior Eddie Hummel each scored major decisions to help the Rams earn their second win over a top-10 team in the past eight days.

Southern made some new moves on the weigh-in sheet that paid off, including weighing Hummel down at 132, sophomore Brock Lefkus down at 152 and Cornelius down at 220 all for the first time this season. Hummel being at 132 was especially important as it allowed the Rams to mitigate the possible damage done by Brick Memorial’s lowerweights, which are the team’s strength. Hummel, who was sixth in the state at 126 pounds wrestling at Roselle Park, won by 14-5 major decision over Mustangs sophomore Ryan Smith, who was a state qualifier last season.

Hummel’s bonus-point victory also provided a much-needed momentum swing for Southern after Brick Memorial’s Michael Richardson pinned Jayson Scerbo in the first period in a matchup of returning state qualifiers. Brick Memorial also received a technical fall from state third-place medalist Vincent Santaniello at 120 and a decision from standout freshman Anthony Santaniello at 106. The younger Santaniello held on for a 4-3 win over Southern’s talented freshman Conor Collins, but holding Santaniello to a decision was big considering he had won by fall or technical fall in all but one match this season.

Hummel’s win started the five-bout winning streak that put the match away. Matt Brielmeier held on for a 2-1 win over Victor DiPianta at 138 before Sari went to work with some vicious armbars on Nelson DeJesus, turning him three times before finally getting the pin at the 5:14 mark. Lefkus being down at 152 allowed Southern to stretch the lineup and put standout freshman Cole Velardi at 160. Lefkus blanked Anthony Albanese, 7-0, at 152 before Velardi put on another armbar clinic in pinning JT Henderson in 5:01.

The match was in hand at this point, but fans were treated to a great matchup at 170 between Southern’s Robert Woodcock and Brick Memorial’s Joe Colon. Both are two-time state qualifiers as well as former teammates at St. Augustine Prep. Colon won 6-4 and the two had a friendly embrace afterward.

LoParo officially clinched the match when he pinned Ruben Lizardi in 3:00 at 182. Following a forfeit awarded to Brick Memorial’s David Szuba at 195, Stephen Jennings closed out the dual with a 7-2 decision over Kyle Kohlmann at 220.

After defeating Jackson Memorial and Brick Memorial, Southern has one more hurdle to clear in its pursuit of the A-South division title. The Rams will host No. 3 Toms River North on Tuesday in what should be a fantastic matchup.



Box Score

No. 1 Southern 41, No. 4 Brick Memorial 23

285JT Cornelius (Southern) over Matthew Murphy (Brick Memorial) (Fall 1:00)
106Anthony Santaniello (Brick Memorial) over Conor Collins (Southern) (Dec 4-3)
113Pat Iacoves (Southern) over Braden Scott (Brick Memorial) (MD 9-1)
120Vincent Santaniello (Brick Memorial) over Nick Bennet (Southern) (TF 16-0 4:27)
126Michael Richardson (Brick Memorial) over Jayson Scerbo (Southern) (Fall 1:44)
132Eddie Hummel (Southern) over Ryan Smith (Brick Memorial) (MD 14-5)
138Matt Brielmeier (Southern) over Victor DiPianta (Brick Memorial) (Dec 2-1)
145Jason Sari (Southern) over Nelson DeJesus (Brick Memorial) (Fall 5:14)
152Brock Lefkus (Southern) over Anthony Albanese (Brick Memorial) (Dec 7-0)
160Cole Velardi (Southern) over JT Henderson (Brick Memorial) (Fall 5:01)
170Joe Colon (Brick Memorial) over Robert Woodcock (Southern) (Dec 6-4)
182Ben LoParo (Southern) over Ruben Lizardi (Brick Memorial) (Fall 3:01)
195David Szuba (Brick Memorial) over Unknown (For.)
220Stephen Jennings (Southern) over Kyle Kohlmann (Brick Memorial) (Dec 7-2)


Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.


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