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Niagara Falls Shocks Wheatfield in Niagara Cup Wrestling Thriller

The WNY #8 Wolverines took down the #2 Falcons 39-30 at home on Wednesday night in a Niagara Frontier League rivalry match. The dual was reflective of a typical Niagara Cup match: a packed house, no forfeits, and a nearly full junior varsity contest.

With the win, the Wolverines move to 2-0 on the season, 6-3 overall, and take back the coveted Niagara Cup for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.

“We wrestled as a team, fought hard, and had each other’s back,” said Falls head coach DJ Giancola after the win. “We achieved it together.”

Even though both squads are coming off a weekend in which they took some losses to other outstanding teams, the Niagara Cup is always a hotly contested event with NFL implications and local bragging rights on the line. And, with the rise of the Section VI Dual Meet Championships, Wednesday’s result will surely have an effect on the seeding and where teams fall in line for the January ‘Duals.’

“This is a great win, we are all very proud of what we accomplished together, but it’s short lived because next week we have a tough team in North Tonawanda,” Giancola said. “They are well coached, young like us, and wrestle very tough.”

Wednesday’s dual began at 195-pounds with a Falls pin courtesy of Carl Ealy. Dominic Contento followed up with another Wolverines pin at 220 good for a 12-0 Falls lead.

The Wolverines won four of the dual’s first five bouts, winning three by pin and one by major decision. A critical win for Falls was a 1-0 decision victory for Darren Christian (4th in Class AA) over Wheatfield’s Te’Shaun Mathews (4th in Section VI) at 120-pounds. Following the Christian win, Wheatfield would go on a four-win run, capturing two wins by fall and two by decision to take a 27-25 lead with only four bouts remaining.

Luckily for Giancola and the Wolverines, NYS champion Willie McDougald and Class AA place winner Leviticus Cox were still left to wrestle. Jesiere Carter won a critical 6-2 decision at 152-pounds before McDougald earned a technical fall at 160-pounds and the 33-27 Falls lead. A Jacob Thibeault decision win at 170 gave the Falcons hope, but Cox sealed the victory with a first period pin at 182-pounds.

“A win like this is encouraging to keep on the path we are,” said Giancola on his youthful squad’s big win. “We are very young, still learning, and still gaining experience. When you taste a little success doing the right things it will encourage us to keep up what we are doing.”

Winners for Niagara Falls were Jaden Crumpler, Amarfio Reynolds, and Christian, Carter, McDougald, Cox, Ealy, and Contento. Reynolds, Cox, Ealy, and Contento were winners by pin.

Individual bout winners for the Falcons were Tremell Mathews, Elijah Greenough, Anthony Kuhn, Mark Kuhn, Justin McDougald, Andre Clause, and Thibeault. Greenough, McDougald, and Clause were winners by fall.

The Wolverines edged the Falcons in both wins (8 to 7) and pins (4 to 3) in the dual.

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