ROSSVILLE - The Gordon Lee Trojans, who recently won a second consecutive Class A State Duals wrestling championship, flexed their muscles again on Thursday night in a 56-8 victory over Walker County foe LaFayette in a match at Ridgeland High School.
LaFayette opened the evening with a 42-21 victory over the host Panthers.
Gordon Lee 56, LaFayette 8
The Trojans collected three pins, three forfeit wins, and one technical fall in a match that also featured a number of close, entertaining bouts.
Dylan Skipper (132 pounds) opened the match with an 18-3 technical fall over Jase Alexander, while Alex Spires (138) manuvered out of a possible takedown in the closing seconds to hold off Sam Lemons, 3-2. The Trojans made it 11-0 when Will Jacks (145) claimed a 5-0 win over Dalton Smith.
Joe Clayton's pin of Sydney Rhinehart at 152 pounds got the Ramblers on the board, but Gordon Lee would win the next nine bouts.
Jonathan Bettis (160) picked up three points in the final 30 seconds to score a 5-2 win over Matthew Mathis, and Clayton Reeves (170) took a forfeit victory. Shane Farmer (182) pinned Chase Davidson and Corey Jewell (195) pinned Will Mefford to add to the Trojans' lead.
Dallas Goodlet and Barron Taylor put on a show in the 220-pound bout. Taylor got a double-leg takedown late in the third to send the match to overtime, but Goodlet got the clinching takedown in the extra session for the 10-8 win. Dallas Alder (285) pinned Aaron Austin, and Stihl Lance's forfeit win at 106 pounds increased the lead to 41-5.
Two state contenders in LaFayette's Caleb Mariakis and Gordon Lee's Jonny Ragsdale faced off in a highly-anticipated bout at 113 pounds with Ragsdale claiming a 10-4 win. Blake Clayton (120) picked up a forfeit for the Trojans' final points.
The Ramblers claimed the final bout as Thomas Cooper edged Mika Clark, 9-8, at 126 pounds. Clark tied things up with a five-point move with less than a minute remaining, but Cooper was able to score an escape with 14 seconds left to earn the winning point.
LaFayette was also docked one team point early in the match.
LaFayette 42, Ridgeland 21
The night's opening match saw the Ramblers get three forfeit wins in the heaviest weight classes to pull away from the Panthers late.
Cody Brooks (126) gave Ridgeland the early 3-0 lead with a 9-3 win over Cooper, but Alexander (132) pinned Pascual Diego and Lemons (138) stuck Dustin Johnson to give LaFayette a 12-3 lead.
After a line-up snafu focred double forfeits at 145 and 152 pounds, the Ramblers picked up six more points as Mathis pinned Cody Davis. But the Panthers answered with 12 straight points, six on Sam Cobb's forfeit win at 170, and six when Mark McKevitt (182) pinned Davidson, pulling Ridgeland within three points at 18-15.
However, Mefford (195), Taylor (220), and Austin (285) all picked up forfeit wins to stake the Ramblers to a 36-15 advantage, and after a double forfeit at 106 pounds, Mariakis made quick work over Chandler Carver to give LaFayette their final six points of the match.
Ridgeland would earn the final six points as Destin Parrish received a forfeit win at 120 pounds.
Gordon Lee and Ridgeland did not wrestle on Thursday. The original plan was for Ridgeland to wrestle at Gordon Lee on Friday for Senior Night in Chickamauga. However, that plan had to be scrapped when the Walker County and Chickamauga City School systems cancelled school on Friday due to the threat of wintery weather. A make-up date had not been announced as of press time.