Franklin junior Suny Aponte pinned Josh Fortner in 3: 59 of their heavyweight bout to overcome a 6-0 deficit, as the No. 5 Indians held off host Eastern Tech, 34-27, in a Baltimore County 3A/4A Division wrestling match yesterday.
Eastern Tech trailed 28-27, but Fortner appeared to have the advantage. He had pinned Aponte in a match last year and nearly finished him twice in the first period.
Fortner chose the bottom position for the second period, against his coach's wishes and to his demise.
"I got decked by him last year, and I was waiting for this," said Aponte, who fought out of two cradle holds before pulling out the win. "That's how he pinned me last year, but I kicked out of it as hard as I could. I'm just happy I went out and got one for the team."
Franklin was without the veteran Schuster brothers, state champ Matt (119 pounds) and Andy (189), who suffered injuries in a car accident in mid-November. County champ Drew Outen, who goes at 135 or 140 for Franklin, also missed the match with a concussion. Matt Schuster and Outen, both sophomores, are expected to return next week. Junior Andy Schuster is out for the season.
Franklin (2-0) trailed 15-3 after four bouts, as Travis Dixon (103) and Ray Day (125) of Eastern Tech sandwiched second-period falls around a 7-3 decision by teammate Travis Shirkey (112).
"We came in thinking we could win and we had all the momentum down low," Day said. "But Josh gave it all he had and in the end just couldn't get off his back."
Franklin had gotten on the board after Evan Zipper (119) scored six near-fall points in a 10-5 decision over Brandon Leyhe, and was within, 15-12, after region champ Stan Wagner (130) decked his man in 2: 11 and Kevin Hebbel's takedown edged Rob Sullivan, 7-5, at 135.
Franklin trailed 21-12 after a buzzer-beating second-period pin by the Mavericks' James Davis (140). Pivotal decisions by Franklin's Ryan Ridgely (145) and Kenny Jenkins (152) made the score 21-18. Ridgely edged Gary Elkinberg, 6-5, and Jenkins downed Derik Hayden, 14-9.
Franklin gained its first lead, at 24-21, when county champ Luke Mays scored a second-period pin at 160 of Jason McGraw. Mays' twin, Sam, managed a 9-1 decision over Lenny Swiger at 172 to make it a 28-21 match.
But the Mavericks were within one point after Dave Wooden (189) rolled off of his back and reversed Kyle Headley for a pin at 3: 24 setting the stage for Aponte's decisive triumph.