By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – A pair of last second comeback wins midway in the match keyed a Yukon run and the Millers opened the wrestling season with a 37-27 dual win over Piedmont on YHS’ home mat.
Kylon Burgert scored on a takedown and a nearfall in the final eight seconds at 126 and Wallace Tilley’s takedown with 13 seconds left in overtime at 132 spotted the Millers to a 19-9 lead and gave the team the spark it needed. YHS won only three of the last seven matches, but won all three by fall to pull off the win. YHS won eight of the 14 matches in the dual.
“It was a good performance tonight,” Miller head coach Joe Schneider said. “I was happy that we won the good ones, we had some some close ones and some big wins from Kylon Burgert and Wallace Tilley at the end.
“We just can’t give up bonus points and falls,” he said. “That is a big part of winning or losing duals. We beat Mustang last year only winning six matches and all by fall. We know that match is coming up and we have to understand we can’t give up those falls when it counts.
“The new rule of nearfalls and pinning out of bounds I like that. It makes guys work harder on the edge of the mat. Two matches it was to our advantage and two it wasn’t.”
The Millers were leading 13-9 going into the 126-pound match, but midway into the third period, Burgert was trailing Piedmont’s Grant Presley 5-3, and with time running out, made
it move, put Presley to his back with four seconds remaining to tie the match and got the points for a nearfall and a 7-5 win. Burgert had led 3-0 at one time, but saw Presley comeback to take a 4-3 lead in the second and then scored an escape to open the third for a 5-3 lead.
At 132, Tilley trailed through the first two periods and was down 3-1 with 20 seconds left in the match. Tilley came up with a takedown with eight seconds remaining to tie the match and then send it into overtime.
In the overtime period, both wrestlers took their shots, but it was Tilley that scored with 13 seconds left to take a 5-3 win and give the Millers a 19-9 lead.
Jaxen Gilmore’s pin of Bryce DiGiacinto in 3:37 at 145-pounds opened a 25-12 Miller lead. Gilmore controlled the match, leading 6-0 after the first period and was up 10-0 when he recorded the fall.
“I saw some good fight out some of our younger guys and we are pretty young,” Schneider said. “We have only four seniors in our line-up and the rest are sophomores and some juniors that are new to it. We will see how it goes.
“I knew Piedmont was tough, especially in the upper weights,” he added. “They had 10 wrestlers that qualified to state last year and have the Heindselmen brothers, so we were ready for a battle. I think they took it to us as far as getting falls, we have to get more falls next time.
“It is going to be a battle every match and we are going to have to be ready for it. Every match they are learning things. We knew Piedmont was going to be tough, but our young guys battled and we came out with the win in the end.”
The Millers extended their lead to 31-12 when Cody Johnson pinned Christian Lenoy in 1:01 at 152-pounds. Piedmont did cut the lead to 31-15 after Piedmont’s Thomas Jenkins decisioned Jace Martin 9-6.
But, Waylon Heger’s pin of Braden Colton in 1:48 at 170-pounds gave the Millers a big enough of a lead, 37-15, that Piedmont would not be able to overcome.
Piedmont had taken the lead on the opening match when Josh Heindselman pinned Isaac Yancey in 27 seconds at 220-pounds. Ashton Aldridge’s 2-0 win over Joe Almaguer at heavyweight at a forfeit at 106 gave the Millers the lead they would never give back up.
Studd Morris’ 21-8 win Jon Henry at 113-pounds opened a 13-6 lead.
The Millers’ will wrestle again at the Perry Tournament of Champions starting Friday.