ROCKINGHAM — There were two big bouts in the Richmond Senior-Hoke wrestling match.
One was a loss for the Raiders, the other was a win.
Both results ended up helping Richmond pull out a 38-37 victory over Hoke in a Southeastern Conference contest Wednesday night.
At the end of the final match, the teams were tied at 37, but after going through several tiebreakers, the Raiders pulled out the victory after outscoring the Bucks in near-fall points 13-12. The win improves Richmond to 2-0 in SEC competition this season.
The first momentum changer for Richmond came in the 182-pound match when Jacob Staub avoided losing by major decision to Hoke’s Devon McClean. Staub trailed 10-1 heading into the third period before he nearly recorded a pinfall victory in the final moments.
Even though Staub lost 10-6, his points thwarted the Bucks’ hopes of picking up four points for the major decision victory. Instead, the three points put Hoke ahead 31-30 with three contests remaining.
“I was very happy about that because I was adding everything up in my head and I thought we would at least tie,” Richmond coach Earl Nicholson said.
Following Deion Davis’ 13-3 major decision victory over Kris Scott, the Raiders moved ahead 34-31. The 220-pound contest between Richmond’s Shaheim Weeks and Hoke’s Josh Henderson went into overtime tied at 7 before Weeks pulled out a 9-7 win.
Richmond led 37-31 going into the final contest of the night. However, Hoke’s Tobias Edge-Campbell claimed a pinfall victory over David Watkins in the 285-pound class to knot the match at 37, sending the coaches, scorekeepers and referee to the rule book to break the tie.
The Bucks went ahead 24-6 after Karon Johnson pinned Dominique Everette in the 132-pound contest. Through the first five matches, Hoke had four pinfall victories. Richmond rallied with pinfall wins of its own in four of the next five to pull in front 30-28 before the McClean-Staub match.
“I thought we needed at least two wins in the early matches to win,” Nicholson said. “Instead we only got one. I think we may be a wild-card in the playoffs, but we need to win against Purnell Swett to guarantee ourselves a spot. Early in the year it was a miracle if some of these guys won because we are so young. Now, I believe will they step on the mat they can win.”
The Raiders and the Rams are scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 23 in Pembroke.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.