The Rogers wrestlers erupted from the bench Wednesday night after 113-pound grappler Yusef Deen-Conteh pinned Puyallup’s Kevin Herbstritt just 37 seconds into the second round.
Deen-Conteh used a cradle to secure the win, and it clinched Rogers’ 40-34 dual-match victory at Puyallup High School.
“We thought it would come down to the little guys,” Rogers head coach David Johnston said. “We thought if we just had a chance to win at 106 and 113, we might have a chance to pull out the match. Yusef was big for us. I’m really excited for him.”
Deen-Conteh’s pin gave the Rams a 12-point margin with just one match to go. It was the first dual meet of the season.
Puyallup head coach Aaron Lee said his team has plenty of room for improvement.
“Rogers was ready,” he said. “They’re good. They’re solid. They have a lot of good wrestlers. We’re not ready yet. We’re still trying to work to get to that point. We have our individuals who did well, but I want our whole team to be to the point where we need them to be. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Rogers’ Brandon Brenenstahl, who pinned the Vikings’ Tristan Cleek in the third round of his match at 152 pounds, was ecstatic after he watched Deen-Conteh put away Puyallup.
“That was a great pin by Yusef,” Brenenstahl said. “He got the cradle locked up. We just needed the win, but he got the pin, which just cinched the whole match for us.
“We just wanted to come in here and show people that we have improved since last year,” Brenenstahl added. “We want to win the whole South Puget Sound League, if we can.”
Johnston said his team looks forward to its annual showdown with its crosstown rival.
“Our dual matches year in and year out with them just keep getting closer and closer,” Johnston said. “Aaron Lee is building a great program. He has some really big strong kids up top (upper division weights), and they have got some talented young kids coming up from the juniors highs. It makes these matches exciting. They’re our rival school, and we enjoy having a big matchup with them like this.”
Rogers wrestlers who won their matches by pinfall included Troy Wilson (145), Ty Wilson (160), Spencer O’Neil (170), Deen-Conteh (113) and Brenenstahl (152). Jovanis Rodriguez (182), Beau Shatto (126) and Ruben Hernandez (106) won by decision.
Puyallup wrestlers who won pin were Joey Meyer (195), Nick Voss (120), Ryan Culkitt (132) and James Lake (138). Puyallup 285-pounder Trent Nivala won by decision, and 220-pounder Matt Voss won by forfeit.