Across the board, Moffat County’s second day at the state tournament was up and down.
After losing five of six matches on the first day of 3A state wrestling, the Bulldogs were in a corner when they started Friday morning. But three of them picked up quick wins, turning the team’s fortunes a bit. Issik Herod and Stelios Peroulis both scored falls to make the second round of the consolation bracket, while Brayden Peterson picked up a 15-1 win to advance.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ only winner Thursday joined them in the consolation bracket Friday. Jesse DeMoor fell behind No. 1 seed Donaciono Vurciaga, 12-2, in his quarterfinal match, but he turned it around with a pin attempt, planting Vurciaga on his back.
DeMoor held the Fort Lupton senior down for several seconds but was not rewarded with a fall as the referee said both shoulders were not on the ground. Vurciaga eventually pushed his way out and won, 13-7.
Each of the four wrestlers had difficult matches waiting for them in the second round on the back side of the bracket and couldn’t pick up the wins they needed to advance toward placing.
Peterson took on No. 3 seed Kaleb Hansen, of Lamar, and couldn’t score on offense to win. On multiple occasions, the two locked up for stalemates when Peterson narrowly missed out on takedown points. Instead, it was the Lamar junior who won 5-2 and ended Peterson’s season and career at Moffat County.
Herod was beaten, 8-2, by Platte Valley’s Andrew Jaramillo. Down 1-0 after two periods, Herod chose to start on top and was unable to hang on to Jaramillo, giving an escape and then being beaten while they were on their feet.
Wrestling Grand Valley’s William Hinkle for the sixth time this season, Peorulis was down 1-0 after two periods. He nearly escaped to tie it in the third but was thrown to the ground, where Hinkle was able to pin him off the slam.
Brady Springer and Brett Loyd each lost in their first consolation matches, eliminating five Bulldogs from competition.
“State tournaments are tough. It’s a qualifying tournament, so you’re not going to have easy matches,” head coach Tanner Linsacum said. “Our kids came to wrestle; we just weren’t quite there.”
Wrestling against many of their equals, in Linsacum’s opinion, in terms of record and capability, the Bulldogs just couldn’t come up with points at the key moments.
As Moffat County’s final wrestler in the tournament, DeMoor needed a win to keep them alive. He was handed a technical violation for a takedown of Christian Krautschun, of Colorado Springs Christian Academy, falling behind 1-0 in the first.
“That’s an illegal hold apparently, but I’ve been doing it all year,” DeMoor said. “That put a damper on me cause I stopped trying to do it.”
But DeMoor tied it with an escape in the second and got a takedown to go up, 3-1. He started on top in the third period and was able to work Krautschun into a fall to advance.
One more win Saturday would guarantee DeMoor a place in the 182-pound bracket, but he wasn’t interested in any result other than the best left available to him.
“I’ve got three more matches, and I want three more wins for third place,” he said. “Nothing else.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.