Mattoon captured four of the final six matches but it was not enough in a 57-21 loss Tuesday night, which enabled the Bulldogs to capture the Apollo Conference wrestling title.
Illness and injuries again struck MHS.
The Green Wave were forced to forfeit five matches, and they also lost one match by default and another because of an injury.
Aidan Blackburn slammed his opponent hard in the first match, which appeared to hurt his opponent enough that he could not continue. That prompted the referee to call for a default.
The Bulldogs subsequently won the next seven matches – four by forfeit, one by pin and another when Aidan Spurgeon defaulted because of an injury at 195 pounds – to go ahead 39-0.
“He’s (Spurgeon) not one to give up much,” said MHS assistant coach Devin Patterson. “He’s about as tough as they come.”
Brady Foster, ranked No. 4 in the state, then dispatched his opponent by a pin in 2 minutes, 20 seconds to lead a rally that came too late. After Mattoon forfeited again at 120, Korbin Bateman pinned his opponent in 37 seconds at 127 and Ben Capitosti won his 132-pound match, 12-4.
One match later, Kiefer Duncan, also ranked No. 4 in his weight division, won the final match by an 18-2 majority decision.
“Mahomet’s a really solid team,” said Patterson. “They always have a solid team. Their whole program every year is pretty good. We knew it was going to be a battle. And then we fell to a couple of injuries.”
Neither Duncan nor Foster were pleased after the match.
“I think we’re better than that,” Duncan said.
Foster added: “I think we need to bring it more in the practice room.”
Mattoon rallied to win the final matches to upend Mt. Zion, 42-24, and take second in the conference.
Tied at 24, Mattoon won by forfeit at 132 and 152. In between, Mick Porter pinned his opponent in 18 seconds at 138 and Duncan needed 1:42 to record another pin, securing the team victory.
“We did what we could,” said Patterson, filling in for head coach Brett Porter who is in quarantine. “Battling a lot of different things this year between COVID and injuries, and everything like that.”
The team is also focused on the IHSA Regional tournament set for Feb. 5 where the winning team earns a berth in the state duals and individual wrestlers advance to sectionals the following week at Mahomet-Seymour High.
Mahomet 57, Mattoon 21
106 – Mattoon forfeit
113 – Foster (MHS) pin Hanley, 2:20
120 – Mattoon forfeit
126 – Bateman (MHS) pin Wilson, :37
132 – Capitosti (MHS) def. Decker, 12-4
138 – Pawlak pin Porter (MHS), 1:26
145 – Duncan (MHS) major decision over Petro, 18-2
152 – Blackburn (MHS) loss by default, illegal slam
160 – Mattoon forfeit
170 – Demos pin Alexander (MHS), 1:09
182 – Mattoon forfeit
195 – Spurgeon (MHS) loss by injury forfeit
220 – Crowley def. Meyer (MHS), 6-5
285 – Mattoon forfeit
Mattoon 42, Mt. Zion 24
106 – Mattoon forfeit
113 – Foster (MHS) own by forfeit
120 – Double forfeit
126 – Garrett pin Gibson (MHS), 3:15
132 – Capitosti (MHS) won by forfeit
138 – Porter (MHS) pin Weter, :18
145 – Duncan (MHS) pin Frazier, 1:42
152 – Blackburn (MHS) won by forfeit
160 – Mattoon forfeited
170 – Alexander (MHS) won by forfeit
182 – Mattoon forfeited
195 – Double forfeit
220 – Double forfeit
285 – Meyer (MHS) pin Ledbetter, 1:20