Freshman Rio Gomez stepped out onto the mat Thursday at heavyweight with Newton trailing in the team score by two, and when he shook hands with his opponent he saw a wrestler he had lost to in the USA Wrestling state tournament two years ago.
"Two years ago he beat me for the championship at kids club state. I came back to pin him, and that felt great to me," Gomez said. "They kept telling me this would come down to me, and I really wanted this for my team."
Gomez was able to survive an initial flurry and avoid being taken down, and when things looked their most dire and his back was exposed to the mat on a second takedown flurry, he reversed his fortunes to put Murray on his back. Gomez held on to get the fall and hand Newton a 40-36 win.
"It feels amazing," Gomez said. "Looking up at the scoreboard, looking at my team, they pushed me on and pushed me further to get that win."
Newton Railer wrestling broke out to a huge lead in the lower weights Thursday night against Derby, only to see the Panthers come racing back to force the team score to be decided at heavyweight. Newton won the first six matches of the night — five with bonus points — before Derby got on the scoreboard. Derby took control of the dual in the second half, outscoring the Railers 36-3 over the course of the next six weight classes.
At 106 pounds Nick Treaster defeated Cody Woods by technical fall in a battle of freshmen. Using a pair of takedowns and near falls to post a 10-1 advantage at the end of the first. Treaster collected a reversal and a near fall in the second period to take a 15-1 lead into the third. Treaster ended the match with a takedown at the 1:30 mark of the third period. Newton took a 5-0 lead.
At 113 pounds, Newton’s A.B. Stokes opened the scoring with a takedown in the first period of his match against Knowlyn Eagen. After an escape, Stokes scored on a head inside double leg takedown, then rode Eagen out of the period for a 4-1 advantage. Stokes went back to the legs to start the second period, getting a takedown to improve his lead. He turned a tily into a fall with :26 left in the second, pushing the Newton lead to 11-0.
A 120 Newton's Colin Bybee wrestled up a from his listed weight, using a takedown throw to open the scoring with a five-point move. A second tilt gave him a 7-0 lead. Bybee chose the down position to start the second period, scoring a reversal straight to the back for his second five-point move of the match, and collecting the fall at 1:40 left in the period.
Newton had a 17-0 lead when Grant Treaster took the matt at 126 pounds, up one wight from his listed class. He started the match with a takedown to take a 2-0 lead. Treaster took down to start the second, scoring an escape and takedown before letting his opponent up for a second takedown. That became his strategy for the second — let ‘em go and take ‘em down — until he found a way to get a pair of three-point near falls to take a 14 point lead. Treaster ended the match in the third period, letting ‘em go and scoring a takedown at the :36 mark. That gave Newton its fourth consecutive bonus-point win and a 22-0 led.
At 132, Newton’s Avery Dutcher opened the scoring with a takedown, then scored a fall at the :33-second mark after using a half nelson. Newton ran the score to 28-0.
At 138, Newton’s Sawyer Mock took on Xavier Sisco, opening the scoring with a sweep single to double leg takedown with 1:20 in the period. A minute later he gave up an escape on the edge of the mat. Leading 21, Mock took down to open the second, scoring an escape to open the period. Mock avoided a takedown, then got one in a flurry that included an escape. The period ended with Mock leading 5-2. Mock gave up a reversal, then collected an escape to open the third. He all but secured the win with a takedown at the :23 second mark., coming away with an 8-5 win.
Newton forced the lead to 31-0.
At 145, Newton’s Arnoldo Aguiar took on Carson Lindsey giving up a takedown at 1:27 in the first to open the scoring. Lindsey was able to get a tilt to run his lead to 5-0 before getting a second tilt to run his lead to 8-0. Lindsey took down to start the second, getting an escape and a takedown to open the period. The match ended at :58 in the second with a fall by Lindsey. Newton held a 31-6 lead after the fall.
At 152, Newton’s Ben Reyes faced Luke Sweat. Sweat opened the scoring with a takedown. Reyes picked up a penalty point for locked hands, and the period ended 2-1 in favor of Sweat. Sweat opened the second with an escape, followed by a takedown. Reyes scored a reversal to close the gap to 5-3, before giving up an escape. Reyes chose down to start the third, the scored a reversal with: 52 left. He let Sweat go, then scored a takedown on the edge of the mat. He scored a near fall before giving up a reversal to a near fall. He then scored his own reversal to near fall, before collecting a one-point decision.
Newton took a 34-6 lead.
At 160 Newton‘ s Bradyn Smith opened the first period with a takedown. Giving up an escape, then a takedown straight to his back before losing by fall with :13 seconds in the first.
At 170 Newton’s Brody Harper lost a scramble and ended up taken down to his back, losing to Jayden Jenkins by fall with :48 left in the first.
Newton held a 34-18 lead following the fall.
At 182, Newton’s Michael Tyrell gave up a quick takedown to Taidon Willis, followed by an escape and another takedown Willis scored a pair of three-point near falls. Entering the second, Willis held a 10-1 lead. A takedown and tilt pushed the lead to 15-1 before Willis collected the fall at 1:27 in the second.
At 195 Newton was open, leading to a forfeit. The score went to 34-30.
At 220 Newton’s Ricky Parga gave up a five-point move to Dusty Martin to open the match. On his second tile, Marin collected the fall and gave derby at 36-34 lead.
At 285, Newton’s Rio Gomez survived an early flurry and takedown attempt to push Dusty Martin to his back and get the fall, giving Newton a 40-36 win.
On the girl’s side of the card, there were only two varsity matches.
At 136 Newton's Alexis Ellis used a first-period takedown to take a lead, then gave up a reversal before dropping the match by fall with :47 left in the first period.
At 142, Newton's Maylee Edwards used a takedown straight to the back to score a nearfall before collecting the fall with 1:13 left in the first period.