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STAFFORD — Getting senior Chris Crane matched up against Jackson Memorial senior Fred Terranova was the move to make for Southern. It gave the Rams a chance to take a win from one of the Jaguars’ best wrestlers and take bonus points against them out of the equation.

When Terranova saw Crane come out at 126 pounds on Wednesday night, he knew that’s exactly what Southern was thinking, and that was all the motivation he needed.

“I knew that meant they thought he was going to beat me and it would be a good decision for them,” Terranova said. “I showed them it wasn’t.”

An even bout on paper quickly turned into a stunning blowout as Terranova threw Crane to his back in the first minute and never let up, registering a 16-1 technical fall in just 2:45 that swung the momentum and powered Jackson, ranked No. 6 in the Shore Sports Network Top 10, to a 32-23 Shore Conference Class A South victory over the No. 3 Rams on Wednesday night.

Terranova was 33-6 and a state qualifier last season at 106 pounds while Crane was a District 24 champion and 27-match winner at 120 pounds. Their bout was the 10th of the night and came with Southern holding a 20-18 lead thanks to six wins over the first nine bouts. The Jaguars had stayed in the match with bonus points, however, and Terranova put them on top for good with his best performance of the season and one of the best in his career. He lifted Crane and dropped him to his back for four points, then worked a “Buena” tilt for near-fall points that opened a 9-0 lead after the first period.

Terranova chose top in the second period and nearly had Crane flat, but piled up three more back points. Crane escaped, but Terranova took him down again, and again put him right to his back for four more points and the shocking 16-1 technical fall.

“Top is my favorite position so I went to work and did what I had to do to put points on the board,” Terranova said.  “The ‘Buena’ tilt we call it. It’s one of my favorite moves, and I try to work off that every time I can.”

“We’ve been waiting for Freddy to wrestle well - I don’ think he has until today - and he picked a great day to do it,” said Jaguars head coach Aaron Gottesman. “I know how tough Crane is. Today was Freddy’s day. Did we think Freddy could beat him? Yes. Did we think Freddy would tech him? No. No way.”

Terranova’s win gave the Jaguars (5-1, 1-1) a 23-20 lead and was the first of three straight crucial wins that decided the match. At 132 pounds, junior Mike Christie erased a one-point deficit by scoring a takedown with six seconds left to beat Gianni Bennett, 5-4, and extend Jackson’s lead to 26-20. Sophomore Tim Hamann then held on to beat two-time region qualifier James Knoeller, 9-8 at 138 pounds after building a 9-2 lead after two periods, to put Jackson up 29-20 with two bouts left. Southern junior Pat Mooney won by decision over Hunter Reese at 145 to make it 29-23 and give the Rams a chance to tie with a pin, but Sean Leahey put the finishing touches on a huge win with a 7-3 decision over Seon Bowker for the 32-23 victory.

“It wasn’t the moves we made, we just didn’t execute,” said Southern head coach John Stout. “They just out-toughed us. The three matches we got pinned in (182, heavyweight, 113) we knew that could happen, it was the other bouts we thought we were going to win: 126, 132, 138. That was the match. We definitely thought we were going to win at least two of those and should have won two of those. We certainly didn’t expected to get tech-falled at 126 pounds.”

The Jaguars were able to overcome being without three starters for the key victory, as senior Jarret DiGiantomasso (160) is out with an injury along with junior John Moss at 120, while sophomore Matt McGowan missed weight at 106 by four-tenths of a pound. The Jaguars had to shuffle their lineup, and while they suffered defeats in those spots, the only bonus points allowed were at 160 where returning region champ Matt Wilhelm won by technical fall in the match’s first bout.

“I was very upset coming into this match,” Gottesman said. “As a team we haven’t been doing everything right, so to come together tonight was a true team effort. It was great to see them respond from a loss (to Brick) and come into this gym and get a win.”

Wilhelm’s 18-3 technical fall of Kyle Johnson at 160 pounds gave Southern a 5-0 lead to begin the match, and junior Joe Toci followed with a 6-4 win over Tanner Kelly in sudden victory to make it 8-0. Jackson got on the board when senior Connor Bohringer pinned junior Connor Skully in 1:22 at 182 pounds, but consecutive decisions by Peyton Blauvelt and Pat Ferraro at 195 and 220 extended Southern’s advantage to 14-6 after five bouts.

Despite winning just two of the first six bouts, the Jaguars were still right in it because of bonus points. Senior Brody Graham pinned Josh Bento in 4:51 at heavyweight to cut Southern’s lead to 14-12. McGowan being out of the lineup gave the Rams (3-1, 1-1) a much better chance to win at 106, and freshman Owen Kretschmer scored a 9-4 decision over Jared Mullin to give Southern a little more breathing room at 17-12.

The Jaguars would win five of the final seven bouts, however, to emerge victorious in  another installment of one of New Jersey’s best rivalries. Junior Mike Spino pinned Southern freshman Matt Barnett in 1:09 at 113 pounds to give Jackson its first lead, 18-17, before Southern pulled back in front when senior Frank Amiano held off Jags freshman Ryan Bohringer, 3-1, at 120 pounds.

With the match still hanging in the balance, Terranova then came out and dominated in earning one of the season’s biggest wins. He helped the Jaguars avoid an 0-2 start in A South, which would’ve almost certainly put them out of the race for the division title. The Jaguars learned a lot about their resiliency on Wednesday night, and proved they have the guts necessary to be a championship team.

“(After losing to Brick) we basically sat down with each other and said we can’t let that happen ever again,” Terranova said. “We put in the effort to come back from that loss, and now we have to finish the season with good wins and try to get that state title.”

 

Box Score

No. 6 Jackson Memorial 32, No. 3 Southern Regional 23

160: Matt Wilhelm (SR) tf. Kyle Johnson 5:54 (18-3)

170: Joe Toci (SR) d. Tanner Kelly 6-4 SV

182: Connor Bohringer (JM) p. Connor Skully 1:22

195: Peyton Blauvelt (SR) d. Adante Davis 3-0

220:  Pat Ferraro (SR) d. Nick Shiminovich 5-1

Hwt: Brody Graham (JM) p. Josh Bento 4:51

106: Owen Kretschmer (SR) d. Jared Mullin 9-4

113: Mike Spino (JM) p. Matt Barnett 1:09

120: Frank Amiano (SR) d. Ryan Bohringer 3-1

126: Fred Terranova (JM) tf. Chris Crane 2:45 (16-1)

132: Mike Christie (JM) d. Gianni Bennett 5-4

138: Tim Hamann (JM) d. James Knoeller 9-8

145: Pat Mooney (SR) d. Hunter Reese 4-1

152: Sean Leahey (JM) d. Seon Bowker 7-3

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