STAFFORD — Southern took a major step toward securing its third division title in four years by holding off Jackson Memorial on Tuesday night.

Pins by Seon Bowker at 182 and Dan Lynch at heavyweight led the way as the Rams, ranked No. 2 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, won eight bouts, including four of the final six, for a 35-24 Shore Conference Class A South victory over the No. 6 Jaguars. Nick O’Connell at 145 and Owen Kretschmer at 113 each won by major decision and John Stout won a key toss-up bout at 160 pounds.



“We know each other’s teams so well we can prepare for each other in our sleep,” said Southern head coach John Stout. “We also had a tough weekend going out to the Escape the Rock Tournament, and I was a little worried the kids would be worn down and a little tired, and they were.”

“Jackson is a tough team and our guys have been on a little bit of a run here, so I was a little worried about it. They did what they had to do. We had a mistake at 120 but other than that everything went as we thought.”

Southern needs to defeat Brick on Saturday and Toms River North on Jan. 31 to clinch the outright A South title for the second year in a row and third time in four seasons.

“It certainly means something to us to attempt to win the division after emptying out after last year with all the seniors,” Stout said. “To come back and put a team competitive enough to compete for the A South title the next year, we’re pleased.”

Vin Miele (195) and Nick Pepe (126) added wins by decision and Matt Barnett clinched the win with a pin at 132 pounds.

Jackson was without starting 126-pounder Carsten DiGiantomasso (13-5), who was on crutches on the Jaguars bench after suffering an ankle injury during a match with DePaul on Saturday.

The teams traded wins over the first six bouts until Miele’s 5-2 victory over Freddy Michel at 195 pounds gave the Rams (8-1, 5-0) two straight wins and a 16-12 lead. In the previous bout Bowker pinned Brad Galassi in 44 seconds to give Southern a 13-12 lead it would not relinquish.

Jackson senior Matt McGowan, the Region VI champ at 126 pounds last season, started the match with a 15-0 technical fall over Ryan Thorn in 4:17 at 138 pounds. O’Connell’s 11-3 win over Nick Tomasiello got Southern on the board, but Jackson came back with a 7-3 decision from senior Tim Hamann over Dan Gorman at 152 pounds. At 160 it was Stout getting two takedowns in the third period to edge Kyle Epperly, 7-4, and cut Jackson’s lead to 8-7.

O’Connell’s major decision was secured with a third-period takedown and Stout had the only offensive points in the final period to win a bout that was 3-3 after two periods. At 113 points it was Kretschmer scoring three points in the third period for an 11-3 major decision and an extra team point.

“That’s what it comes down to, finding a way to win,” Stout said. “You’re not always going to be at your best. You’re going to be sick or injured or whatever, and what it comes down to, especially in a team situation, is gutting it out and doing your job. They were very tough in that sense.”

Following Bowker’s pin and Miele’s 5-2 win, Jackson closed the gap to 16-15 with Dave Lemay’s 3-1 win over Matt Mackanic at 220. Lemay rode out Mackanic in the second period to keep the bout scoreless heading to the third. Up 1-0 after an intentional escape awarded by Mackanic, Lemay scored the only takedown of the bout in the final period.

Southern’s cushion grew at heavyweight when Lynch ran a half nelson to pin Naj’Zir Humbert in 2:48 and put the Rams up 22-15. Jackson sophomore Vincent Scollo edged Jayson Scerbo, 6-5, at 106 pounds to make it 22-18, but Kretschmer’s major decision at 113 put Southern up 26-18.


Jeremiah Nash made things interesting at 120 pounds when he pinned Sebastian Delligatti in 2:30, cutting Southern’s lead to 26-25 with two bouts left. But without DiGiantomasso Southern had a big advantage in the final two weights. Pepe won 5-0 over Tyler Mitrosky at 126 pounds for a 29-24 Southern lead and junior Matt Barnett, a state qualifier last season, pinned Hugh Mai in 2:49 at 132 pounds to close out the 11-point victory.

“They had (DiGiantomasso) out at 126 and we knew that was going to work in our favor,” Stout said. “And when you win the flip things go your way. I hate to keep saying it but it’s a big part of the sport when two teams are very even.”


Box Score

No. 2 Southern 35, No. 6 Jackson Memorial 24

138: Matt McGowan (JM) tf. Ryan Thorn 4:17 (15-0)

145: Nick O’Connell (S) md. Nick Tomasiello 11-3

152: Tim Hamann (JM) d. Dan Gorman 7-3

160: John Stout (S) d. Kyle Epperly 7-4

170: Dan Bergeron (JM) md. Crew Truex 10-1

182: Seon Bowker (S) p. Brad Galassi 0:44

195: Vin Miele (S) d. Freddy Michel 5-2

220: Dave Lemay (JM) d. Matt Mackanic 3-1

Hwt: Dan Lynch (S) p. Naj’Zir Humbert 2:48

106: Vincent Scollo (JM) d. Jayson Scerbo 5-4

113: Owen Kretschmer (S) md. Chris McDonald 11-3

120: Jeremiah Nash (JM) p. Sebastian Delligatti 2:30

126: Nick Pepe (S) d. Tyler Mitrosky 5-0

132: Matt Barnett (S) p. Hugh Mai 3:49

Records: at Southern (8-1, 5-0); Jackson Memorial (5-7, 3-1).


Wrestling 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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