DIXFIELD – The intensity level was extremely high as the Mountain Valley and Dirigo wrestling teams certainly didn’t leave anything to the imagination in a Mid-State dual meet Wednesday

Ben Matthews recorded a major decision at 145 pounds to break a tie and Devin Roberts’ pin in the final match propelled the Falcons to a 44-33 win over the arch-rival Cougars.

Dirigo (3-1) had beaten three top Class C teams, while the Falcons had placed second at the Westbrook Invitational. Brothers Ernie and Ben Mathews each won championships, at 125 and 145, respectively.

Ben Matthews had led throughout the match and then executed a reversal with one second left. The move on Josh Palmer resulted in a 10-2 decision, worth four team points. Matthews and Palmer were each finalists in the state meets.

“Every time I wrestle, I try the same thing,” Matthews said.

“That involves grabbing the back of the neck and pushing down. That usually makes them mad and when they snap back up, I shoot in on their legs.”

Roberts quickly ended the drama, by sticking Matt Smith at 152. Dirigo had tied the match at 33 when state champion Jon Smith pinned Mike Gilbert with a grapevine.

“The meet was a lot closer than some people had expected,” Mountain Valley coach Gary Dolloff said. “There were some big matches, but (Tim Ross) at 103 was key for us.”

In a battle of freshmen, Ross pinned Dylan Castonguay in the first period. The Falcon rookie sunk in a half nelson and ran with it, forcing Castonguay to the mat.

The meet had began with six-straight pins. Cody Grasrurk (160), Tyler Child (215) and Kyle Dow (285) led the Falcons. Child, the defending Class B state champion, secured a head and arm on Pat O’Leary. And Dow manhandled A.J. Carrier. The Cougars held firm, with state champion Kyle Miele and Kevin O’Leary, at 171 and 189, respectively.

“You need to wrestle with some pride,” Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert said. “(Mountain Valley) wanted it more than us. Four of my five seniors lost and that shouldn’t have happened. We need to get healthy.”

The Cougars’ Josh Hines pinned Corey David at 119, but Mike Jonaitis (135) was decisioned 12-7 by Derek Sicotte.

In interesting match, Cougar state champion Derek Daley executed three takedowns, in a 7-3 decision against Ernie Matthews.

The Falcon sophomore had bumped up a weight class, and the match was rivoting.

“I didn’t have a particular move in mind,” Daley said. “All week long the coaches were telling me to relax and not rush things. I had more breath and I knew that I could take him down.”


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