Bulldogs trounce Bruins, 47-13, close in on Delta River League title

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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The match to decide the Delta River League wrestling champions quickly turned into a one-sided affair at Folsom High on Wednesday, as the Bulldogs avenged last year’s narrow loss to perennial powerhouse Ponderosa with a devastating 47-13 thumping that added to Folsom’s already exceptional season. On senior night six of the eight Folsom seniors in the varsity lineup won individual duals and they got a big assist from the freshmen, who went a perfect three-for-three in the biggest league dual match of the season. After the teams split the first two bouts, the Bulldogs rattled off seven straight victories to secure the victory even with five matches left to wrestle. “I didn’t think it would be this lop-sided,” said Mike Collier, the surprised but ecstatic Folsom High wrestling coach. “I knew we had a good shot to win, but to win by that margin speaks volumes of how the team stepped up tonight. It was a good win.” Two of the biggest wins for the Bulldogs came from freshmen. At 120 pounds, Lorenzo De La Riva gave Folsom the lead for good when he pinned Ponderosa junior Christian Canepa in 4:59, making the score 9-3 after the team’s split matches at 106 and 113. “It felt good to win the match,” De La Riva said. “I just wanted to wrestle tough.” The match was tied at two after the first period, but De La Riva went up by five with a reversal and three near fall points. He was then whistled for unnecessary roughness and immediately following was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct call that brought Canepa back in it to 7-4. De La Riva showed some poise by not throwing the match away. “I didn’t think it was unnecessary roughness and I just turned and said ‘oh my gosh’ and he hit me with an unsportsmanlike. That got me mad and actually helped me.” De La Riva earned a reversal and four more back points in the third period before finishing Canepa with a pin. After senior Connor Pollock put junior Jonathan Timm on his back and pinned him in 1:04, one of four pins on the night for the Bulldogs -- three coming from seniors -- senior Tony Hernandez picked up another big win for the Bulldogs, upending Sean Melton 2-0, one of the Bruins’ top wrestlers. The only points came on the first-period takedown. “It was nice and a relief to beat him on senior night,” Hernandez said. “I’ve wrestled him three times throughout high school and lost to him every time until tonight. The key was my shot defense and just me staying smart.” Collier added, “Melton is one of their better wrestlers and he’s ranked higher than Tony and I’m sure that was a match they were counting on winning. Tony wrestled a good, smart match.” Next on the mat came freshman Mason Koshiyama. Wrestling with a broken nose and protective mask, Koshiyama earned a hard-fought 6-0 win over senior TJ Spangler, on two takedowns and a reversal. “I just wanted to stay smart, not force anything and wait for him to make mistakes,” Koshiyama said. “I wasn’t super confident I was going to win, but I knew I had the tools to win.” Coupled with wins by De La Riva and Carlos Alvarez (4-0 at 106), Folsom’s freshmen were all victorious. “Those wins say a lot about the fortitude those guys have,” Collier said. “They’re not afraid of high-pressure situations and that’s what you want to see out of your young guys.” Nick Fiegener, Folsom’s only winner who wasn’t a senior or freshman, represented the sophomore class with a technical fall win in six minutes, 25-6, over Aubrey Hutcheson at 145. Senior Ryan Jensen pinned Trae Providence in 3:20 and fellow senior Isaias Diaz followed with another pin in 3:59, as the Bulldogs worked up a 38-3 lead. The Bruins picked up three straight wins over the Bulldogs, before Tevenn Lewis earned a forfeit win at 220. Heavyweight Jordan Alleva, who lost to Ponderosa’s Jeff Camilli in triple overtime at the Tim Brown Memorial Tournament over the weekend, a match he felt was taken away from him when the referee took two points away from him at the end of the match, avenged the loss with a satisfying 5-3 win to finish off the Bruins. “I couldn’t let him beat me on senior night,” Alleva said. Folsom also won the junior varsity match, 45-27, as both teams remain undefeated in league with only Sheldon standing between them and a league title.