Alleman came into Wednesday’s wrestling match 25-4, 1-1 in the Western Big Six, hoping to challenge Moline for conference supremacy.
The Maroons came into the Don Morris Gym, 22-4, 2-0 in the conference. A win would keep Moline in the driver’s seat for its fifth straight conference title.
It may have been Alleman’s Senior Night, but the Maroons delivered a clear-cut message: Not so fast.
Moline won 11 of the 14 bouts in a dual that felt far closer than the final score of Moline 48, Alleman 8. The highlights were many for the Maroons. Jayden Terronez got his 23rd pin of the season, this one coming at 160 pounds over one of Alleman’s best, Ryan O’Hern. In addition, Moline got technical fall victories from D.J. Parker at 152 and Hunter Henning at 195 and major decisions from Charlie Farmer at 106 and Isaiah Tapia at 113.
They also picked up decisions from Ellex Williams at 120, Austin Burkeybile at 138, Zach Wallace at 220 (with a takedown in the final seconds) and Cobie Underwood at 285, plus forfeit wins by Mack Mulvany at 126 and Grant Ohlsen at 145.
Moline seemed to have the edge in strength, and Moline coach Jacob Ruettiger did not dispute that notion.
“Coach Bill Carlough has got a great program going in the morning,” Ruettiger answered when asked about what appeared to be a physical edge for the Maroons. “The kids are there every morning at 6 a.m. hitting the weights, conditioning. And it’s really making a difference in our season.”
Ruettiger was happy to salute his wrestlers.
“Jayden wrestled really well,” he said of Terronez’s pin in 3 minutes, 10 seconds. “Isaiah Tapia going out there and getting a big win against Billy Taylor was awesome.
“(Taylor’s) ranked sixth in the state in 1A, and Tapia went out and took it to him (11-1 major). That was awesome. All the way up and down the lineup we wrestled well.”
Alleman put up more of a fight than the scoreboard showed. The Pioneers got a hard-fought win from senior John West at 182 (3-2 in four overtimes) and another quadruple OT win by Jack Patting (3-2) over Isaac Martinez.
“It was a big match; it was Senior Night, my last time wrestling here,” said strongman West, whose escape with 17.8 left won it. “So I just did whatever it took to get a win.”
For West, the growth of the program in his four years meant something.
“When I was a freshman, I am pretty sure we won one meet all year,” he said. “This year we have over 20 wins, so just going from that to where we are now, it’s totally flipped around.”
The Pioneers also got an 8-3 decision win from senior Alec Carton at 170.
“I am very proud of the way we wrestled,” said Alleman coach James Ealy, now in his sixth year with the Pioneers. “In a lot of tight matches, things weren’t going our way. You can say we only won three matches, but every match those guys won, they earned. We came out, we battled, we fought hard.”
Terronez enjoyed his pin.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was fun. I knew what I had to do. My coach wanted six points.”
Terronez also took a moment to salute the Pioneers.
“We knew they were good," he said. "They were ranked (No. 10) in Class 1A. We knew we couldn’t slouch around. We had to come out and do our job, handle business. That’s what we did.”
A year ago, Ruettiger was assisting Ealy at Alleman. It was a bit tough coaching against kids he worked with a year ago, he said.
“It’s a great group of kids over there,” Ruettiger said. “We got this one out of the way. I am pulling for them in (Class 1A) regionals.”
Alleman faces Galesburg and Quincy on Friday at Rock Island, as do the Rocks. Moline will travel to Galesburg to face the Streaks and Quincy to wrap up the regular season.