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There was no letdown from Oak Park-River Forest in Aurora on Thursday night.
A day after rallying past No. 1 Montini, 34-29, Oak Park scored another impressive victory, jumping ahead of No. 4 Marmion, 35-3, after nine bouts and winning, 38-19 over the Cadets.
“Oak Park came out ready to wrestle,” Marmion coach Ryan Cumbee said. “Tonight was a coach’s nightmare.”
Oak Park took control early. Freshman Isaiah White, who bumped up a weight class and filled in for an ill Larry Early, scored a 7-4 victory over Michigan-bound George Fisher at 132 pounds. White fell behind 3-0 early, rallied to tie the score at 4-4 and then won it late in the third period, 7-4.
“I didn’t come out from the start and wasn’t ready, but toward the end I had to start picking it up,” White said. “I began pushing the pace and ended up getting to my position and attacked and scored.”
Senior Jake O’Mara followed and surprisingly fell behind 5-0 to freshman Matt Ferraro. O’Mara regrouped and showed Ferraro a thing or two with a second period pin.
Things continued to go well for Oak Park as it won its next sixth matches. Johnny Callaghan won 5-3 in overtime at 145 pounds and Allen Stalling also needed extra time to win 3-1 at 170 pounds.
Davonte Mahomes and Kamal Bey both were dominant with pins at 160 and 152 pounds respectively. Joe Ariola won by technical fall at 182 pounds and Cory Cepak was victorious at 192 pounds as was Allen Stallings at 170 pounds.
“We’re looking to win state and dominate,” Early said. “Sitting out tonight and not wrestling just pumped me up for the next time.”
Jake Field got the night off to a good start for the Cadets with a 5-3 victory at 126 pounds but they wouldn’t record another victory until Cody Snodgrass snagged an 11-3 major decision at 220 pounds.
Alex Fritz had Marmion’s lone pin of the night, winning at 285 pounds, while Anthony Bosco added a 5-2 win at 106 pounds and Johnny Jimenez closed things with a hard fought 6-4 victory at 120 pounds.
“We have the talent to wrestle with these guys and the talent to beat these guys but didn’t have the heart to win,” Cumbee said. “We didn’t deserve to win. Hopefully our boys learned their lesson, they’re not as good as they think they are.”