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Panthers pin their ears back in season opener, dominate Rockets

Reversal of fortune for EP at Tabor

Erie-Prophetstown’s Nick Williams (left) and Rock Falls’ Lucas Newburgh go head-to-head at 182 pounds Wednesday night at Tabor Gym. Williams decisioned Newburgh 5-2, and the Panthers beat the Rockets 57-17.
Erie-Prophetstown’s Nick Williams (left) and Rock Falls’ Lucas Newburgh go head-to-head at 182 pounds Wednesday night at Tabor Gym. Williams decisioned Newburgh 5-2, and the Panthers beat the Rockets 57-17.

ROCK FALLS – In a dual that saw Erie-Prophetstown pile up nine pins, a reversal stood out above the pin din.

The Panthers won 10 of the 12 contested bouts in a 57-17 romp over Rock Falls in a double dual that also included Rochelle on Wednesday night at Tabor Gym.

Sophomore Damien Schacherbauer made his first varsity win a memorable one, and provided one of many highlights for EP in its season-opening action.

Trailing his 120-pound bout to cradle specialist Breu Knox 7-0 in the second period, Schacherbauer came storming back. A reveral and three-point near fall in the second period brought Schacherbauer within 7-5.

Twenty-five seconds into the third period, Schacherbauer took Knox down to tie it, then got the pin with 1:11 remaining.

“I thought I was done with them cradles,” Schacherbauer said. “I decided to end it, and I got around him and ended up pinning him. I was tired. I wanted to get it done with.”

“Shocky’s a scrapper,” Panthers coach Tod McCullough said of Schacherbauer. “He stays in the match. He works hard. Hopefully that will spur him on.”

The most competitive match in the dual was the 182-pound clash between EP’s Nick
Williams and Rock Falls’ Lucas Newburgh.

After a scoreless first period, Wililams got an escape for the only point of the second period. Newburgh got an escape to start the third period, but Williams scored a takedown that was narrowly inbounds with 1:03 remaining for a 3-1 lead.

Another Newburgh escape made it 3-2 with just under a minute left. Newburgh nearly took the lead with a takedown, but it was just out of bounds with 20 seconds left. Newburgh gambled in the finals seconds and Wililams took advantage, scoring another takedown for a 5-2 win.

Erie-Prophetstown began the dual with pins from Dylan Binion at 160 and Billy Crampton at 170.

After Williams’ decision win, four more Panther pins made it 39-0. Those falls came from Noah Eads at 195, Jace Bright at 220, Jared Westerfield at 285, and Logan Voss at 106.

Rock Falls (4-3) finally got in the team scoring column at 113, when freshman Tristan Willett pinned EP freshman Kerrick Cameron in 54 seconds after falling behind 2-0 early.

“It was tough for me to get him over and on his back, and then it was hard to keep him on his back,” Willett said. “I didn’t panic. I don’t want to panic, because then I think I’m going to lose.”

“He’s coming along. He’s going to be good,” Rock Falls coach Derick Cox said of Willett. “He learns something in practice, then uses it is matches.”

Schacherbauer’s pin made it 45-6 before the Rockets’ only other contested-match win, Konner Smith’s 15-0 technical fall over Hunter Littrel at 126.

The Panthers got two more pins, first from Josh Bowling at 132, then from Grady Todd at 138, to make it 57-11.

Rock Falls’ Keaton Stickel was awarded a forfeit win at 145, and the teams had a double-forfeit at 152.

Only five bouts reached the second period, and only two reached the third.

Cox, who coached at EP for 13 years, was disappointed with the number of pins his team suffered.

“We can’t give up pins,” he said. “I always tell the kids, ‘The only way you don’t give yourself a chance is if you get pinned.’”

The Rockets will be without Jevon Hey, a transfer from Belleville Althoff who was a state qualifier last season, for a while. Hey was involved in a car accident and has a back injury, according to Cox.

In the event’s other duals, Rochelle edged the Panthers 39-37 and downed Rock Falls 47-28.

Key stats

• Panthers had nine wins by pin

• Only 5 matches reached the second period

• Only 2 matches reached the third period

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