The Edmond Memorial Bulldogs won a district title and punched their ticket to dual state after defeating Del City 38-36 and Deer Creek 36-21 on Thursday night.
The undermanned Bulldogs pulled out a two-point victory over Del City in the first dual of the day. With 2019 state champion Cruz Aguilar out with the flu at 106 lbs, and Jake McCain out due to injury, Memorial spotted the Eagles 12 points before the matches had even begun.
Perhaps the most important match of the night went to Memorial’s Benjamin Mower, who was down 9-1 before pinning Del City’s Donnie Hurd. Both Mower and Hurd were aggressive from the get-go, but Hurd jumped out to a huge early lead, getting two takedowns and earning three back points to take a 7-1 lead after just the first period. Hurd got another takedown in the second, and Mower found himself down 9-1 headed into the final period. He flipped the script quickly in the third, and slammed Hurd down seconds into the round. He failed his first attempt at a pin, but quickly regained and pinned Hurd with 1:37 remaining in the match to the roar of his Memorial teammates and the home crowd.
Mower’s six point swing would be pivotal towards the final result. Any loss, or even a decision win, wouldn’t have been enough to beat the Eagles.
“I just put him in the best position I thought would be the best position for him to win,” Head coach Will Delk said. “Third period it was our choice and I picked top. A lot of people don’t pick top and I chose it because it was the best position for us to win the match. We don’t get that, we don’t win the dual.”
Del City took the first match of the day as Manny Rogers defeated Garret Johnson 9-3. The next three Bulldogs all went on to pin their opponents. At 120, Brock Harris pinned Colby Clanton, Matt Garcia pinned Tyray Delton at 132, and Bam West pinned Tyren Clark to give Memorial an 18-15 lead.
Jackson Oplotnik earned a technical fall and Eli Cordy won a 7-3 decision in the Memorial win.
“It was closer than I’d liked, obviously,” Delk said. “But I’m proud of my guys for doing what they needed to do to win anyways.”
Against Deer Creek in the final match of the night, the Bulldogs again spotted their opponent 12 points off forfeits. Johnson dropped the first match, this time in overtime to Deer Creek’s JJ Gilbert, and they found themselves in a 15-0 hole.
With their backs against the wall, the Bulldogs rattled off ten wins in a row to win the match 36-21 and move on to dual state.
Memorial’s Harris nearly won a major decision, but Graham Presley’s late takedown stifled his efforts. Garcia rode a three-takedown performance to another decision win for the Bulldogs, and West pulled out a close match over Deer Creek’s Cade Manion to win 5-3.
Edmond Memorial's Jackson Oplotnik gets a pin fall against Will Pham. It comes in the second period, and it's the fourth consecutive match Memorial has taken. It's 15-all. #okpreps— Aaron Albertson (@AaronAtTheSun) January 24, 2020
Oplotnik pinned Will Pham in the second period, and Mower continued his big night with a 6-2 win over Micah Lugafet with two big reversals.
Memorial then used two decision wins, a pin, and a sudden death overtime win to cruise to a victory over the Antlers.
The Bulldogs, along with Edmond North, who beat Moore, Norman North, and Lawton, will wrestle at dual state on Feb. 14 and 15.