JOHNSTOWN - After eight weight classes Wednesday, the Johnstown wrestling team found itself staring at a 37-0 deficit with seven matches remaining in its Foothills Council contest with South Glens Falls.
In order to win the match, the Sir Bills needed to win each of the final seven bouts and they did just that pulling out a 42-37 win by reeling off six straight pins before Joe Nellis sealed the victory with a forfeit win at 285 pounds.
"I couldn't be more proud. To be down 37-0 and come back to get a win is incredible," first-year Johnstown coach Joe Morrison said. "They worked hard for it and they deserve it."
Johnstown’s Josh LaLonde, top, puts the finishing touches on his pinfall victory over South Glens Falls’ Xavier DeLuke during their 152-pound match Wednesday at Johnstown High School. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
Josh LaLonde (152 pounds), Joe Salatel (160), Austin Brand (170), Austen Manchester (182), Pat Morrison (195) and Ethan Hale (220) all won by pinfall for Johnstown.
LaLonde started the Johnstown rally by pinned South Glens Falls' Xavier DeLuke in 1:44 at 152 pounds.
At 160 pounds, Salatel trailed 7-1 after one period before pinning the Bulldogs' Geoff Josefowicz 1:14 into the second period to cut the South Glens Falls' lead to 37-12.
Austin Brand extend the Johnstown pin streak to three, needing just 1:26 to defeat Ryan Melton at 170 pounds. Brand's effort was topped by Austen Manchester at 182 pounds as he pinned South Glens Falls' Devin Greenlaw in 47 seconds to make the score 37-24.
Pat Morrison following by pinning the Bulldogs' Peter DeMarco in 1:08 at 195 pounds, while Ethan Hale pulled the Sir Bills to within a point a 37-36 by pinned the Bulldogs' Ken McNeill in 1:33.
Having done what it need to do to keep itself in the match, Johnstown was able to seal the win when Nellis stepped onto the mat to receive a forfeit at 285 pounds.
"I wasn't disappointed with any of my guys," South Glens Falls coach John Chowske said. "They worked hard and I was impressed with how it went. The final score didn't go our way, but they worked hard and didn't give up."
While Johnstown dominated the upper weight classes, it was the Bulldogs who were in control on the other end of the spectrum, opening the match with seven straight wins.
"Our lighter weight guys are new," Morrison said. "A few of them have never wrestled before this year."
After a double forfeit at 99 pounds, South Glens Falls got forfeit wins from Josh Rougie (106) and Jack Ritterreiser (120) to go along with a pinfall victory by Lawton Merchant at 113 pounds.
Merchant pinned Johnstown's Nathan Dutcher in 2:50.
Matt Saville (126) extended the South Glens Falls lead to 24-0 by pinning Jeremy Meher in 1:01.
Zachary Morris added a 4-0 win over the Sir Bills' Troy DeBlock at 132 pounds, while Spencer Kilburn pinned Johnstown's Pat Fleming in 2:23 at 138 pounds.
At 145 pounds, Brandon Bruttomesso put Johnstown's Adam Liss on his back twice in the third period but was only able to secure a 10-2 major decision. The outcome proved to be crucial for the Sir Bills' comeback, which began one match later.
"Adam [Liss] not getting pinned saved the match for us," Morrison said. "He did a good job of fighting off of his back."
South Glens Falls (0-2 overall, 0-2 Foothills) opened it season last week with a 75-9 loss to Queensbury.
"We've got a very young, very green team," Chowske said. "We've got three or four guys that have never been on the mat before this year."
Johnstown (2-0 overall, 2-0 Foothills), which posted a 51-30 win at Scotia-Glenville on Nov. 28, will compete in the Glens Falls Tournament on Saturday.
"They believe in themselves, they believe in me and they believe in the program. They're the ones out there wrestling. They deserve the credit, not me," Morrison said. "We've got good group and they work hard every day to get better."
Johnstown 42, South Glens Falls 37
99: Double forfeit
106: Josh Rougie (SGF) by forfeit
113: Lawton Merchant (SGF) pinned Nathan Dutcher, 2:50
120: Jack Ritterreiser (SGF) by forfeit
126: Matt Saville (SGF) pinned Jeremy Meher, 1:01
132: Zachary Morris (SGF) dec. Troy DeBlock, 4-0
138: Spencer Kilburn (SGF) pinned Pat Fleming, 2:23
145: Brandon Bruttomesso (SGF) major dec. Adam Liss, 10-2
152: Josh LaLonde (J) pinned Xavier DeLuke, 1:44
160: Joe Salatel (J) pinned Geoffrey Josefowicz, 3:14
170: Austin Brand (J) pinned Ryan Melton, 1:26
182: Austen Manchester (J) pinned Devin Greenlaw (SGF), :47
195: Pat Morrison (J) pinned Peter DeMarco, 1:08
220: Ethan Hale (J) pinned Ken McNeill, 1:33
285: Joe Nellis (J) by forfeit