It took five tries, but Moffat County senior Daniel Cramblett finally learned how to beat Rifle's Tim Long.
"I came in knowing I had to be more aggressive than I have in the past," the 152-pound Bulldog said. "Before, I sat and waited for things to happen."
Before, Long had also won four close matches.
Cramblett's effort was to be so relentless he threw up after the match.
"I guess that's what it took," he said. "It was a good effort for my last home event in my high school career."
Cramblett was one of five Bulldogs to win a match Thursday night. Five forfeits by the Bears made the final score, 57-21, more lopsided than the dual.
"It was good wrestling for (Cramblett)," Moffat coach Roman Gutierrez said. "There were a couple other matches we were caught sleeping."
The Rifle wrestling team doesn't have strength in numbers, but it does have strength.
Of the nine wrestlers who suited up, the Bears brought two ranked in the top five of Class 4A and three more in the top 12.
The Bulldogs came into the night ranked as the No. 7 team in Class 4A. The Bulldogs had five wrestlers ranked in the top 10 by On the Mat Rankings.
Long and Cramblett were ranked third and fifth, respectively. Two other matches pitted ranked wrestlers together.
Moffat's 112-pound, sixth-ranked junior Brice Boling and Rifle's 11th-ranked freshman James Conrardy were the first ranked pair to match up. Conrardy made it look like the rankings should be reversed. Rifle's wrestler won the match by reversing Boling four times, which resulted in near-fall points three of those times. With five seconds in the match, Conrardy earned a technical fall, 18-3.
"(Conrardy) has traveled all over the country and has experience," Gutierrez said. "But Brice didn't do what he can against him."
The next match of dually ranked wrestlers was Moffat's 145-pound, second-ranked senior Korey Kostur and Rifle's 12th-ranked Derek Fruetel. The first period ended scoreless. Then Kostur took over.
He reversed Fruetel at the start of the second period and took most of the period to work the Bear to his back. With 11 seconds remaining in the period, Kostur earned the pin.
Long vs. Cramblett V was the final match of the night. In matches wrestled the teams stood at 4-4.
Cramblett came out as the aggressor, earning two takedowns in the first period for a 4-2 lead. An escape and takedown in the second period gave the Moffat wrestler a 7-3 lead going into the final period.
Long fought back with a reversal to make it 7-5 but couldn't turn Cramblett in the final minute.
"Timmy wasn't feeling that great coming into tonight," Wisniewski said. "That 152 class is one of the best in the state, and I think we'll see some great matches at the regional."
The win made Cramblett feel good -- at least after he lost his cookies.
"It gives me confidence," he said. "I wanted to do it for the guys on the team, too."
Moffat County won its three other matches by pin. Nick Navratil pinned Klye Coombs 25 seconds into the 189-pound match, Jake Breslin (119 pounds) pinned Alex Avila in 1:26, and Chris McAlexander pinned Kory Vassak in the second period of the 135-pound match.
Other Bears to win were 130-pound Luke Wooten, 140-pound Brandon Buhlman and 160-pound Tyler Thompson. Wooten pinned Moffat's Jesse Breslin in 42 seconds. Thompson dominated Moffat's Trenton Duarte 14-1. Buhlman trailed 8-4 when he reversed the Bulldog freshman Lyle Schaffner and pinned him in the second period.
"Across the board, I thought we wrestled pretty darn good," Rifle coach John Wisniewski said. "There are some spots where we can get better before regionals."
The Bulldogs have one more night to wrestle before regionals. They travel to Eagle Valley tonight.
The Devils are ranked sixth in Class 4A.
"They're really tough in about five classes," Gutierrez said. "We need to get tougher in the next week."