HANNIBAL, Mo. – Hannibal-LaGrange defeated Illinois State 33-18 Saturday afternoon in its first match of the season. The win gives HLGU its second straight victory over the Red Birds as the Trojans took last year's match 40-6.
"[Woods, McElfresh, Townsend, and Wright] have been working hard and they came through big for us and got us six points each [by fall] to help us win the dual," commented Head Coach Scott Hawes. "I'm very proud of the team. We had a lot of guys out with sickness and injury as well as some eligibility issues. We had a young lineup step in and take the lead and they did a good job for us."
Sophomore Brady Sloup (125 lb.) opened the dual for Hannibal-LaGrange with a win by forfeit, giving HLGU an early 6-0 lead.
Sophomore Gary Woods (133 lb.) and freshman Caleb McElfresh (149 lb.) increased the Trojans' lead by 12 as each won by fall.
After giving up three points to Illinois State, HLGU pushed ahead with another win by fall. Sophomore James Townsend (157 lb.) pinned Ryan Loy to up the Trojans' advantage to 24-3. Freshman Jeremiah Reed (165 lb.) followed the pin with a 2-1 decision over Marcus McCall, giving Hannibal-LaGrange three more points.
Illinois State picked up 15 points during the next three matches to cut the Trojan lead down to 27-18. Steve Burling won by fall over Trojan freshman Jacob Kaibel (174 lb.), Julio Perez won by a 3-2 decision over sophomore Seth Pierce (184 lb.) and Tom Mitrenga won by forfeit in the 197 lb. weight class.
In the final match of the afternoon, sophomore Michael Wright (285 lb.) put the finishing touches on the Red Birds with Hannibal-LaGrange's fourth win by fall. Wright's victory over Kyle Ressinger gave HLGU six more points and a 15 point win.
The Trojans will now prepare for their next match on Thursday, Nov. 7. The home dual against Benedictine is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. inside the Mabee Sports Complex.
-Jordan Argo, HLGU SID