STERLING – Newman outscored Fulton by a point in the 10 contested bouts, but two forfeit wins propelled the Steamers to victory in a Three Rivers dual on Thursday.
Fulton rode four pins and the two forfeits to a 39-28 win over the Comets at Newman.
"We had a lot of gutchecks tonight," Steamers coach Chris Grant said. "A lot of our new kids had to come through, and they wrestled with heart. They put in the hard work, and it showed tonight."
Three of the Steamers' pins came at three of the four heaviest weights: 182, 220 and 285.
The 182-pound match between Fulton senior Preston Ford and Newman freshman Christian Dailey was the most wildly entertaining match of the night.
First, Dailey grabbed a quick 3-0 lead, then Ford bounced back to go ahead 6-3. Dailey worked back on top and led 9-6 after a frenetic first period that more resembled a 106-pound match.
Dailey led 16-9 after a three-point near fall, but Ford turned the tables with a reversal then stuck Dailey to the mat for a pin with just 9 seconds left in the second period.
"That was a crazy match," said Ford, who just returned from illness and a knee injury. "I was hoping not to injure my knee again. I wasn't 100 percent. My knee was bothering me a little bit near the end. I just wanted to get the match done quick then."
Ford's teammates Zach Jenkins and Steven Balk earned pins at 220 and 285, respectively.
That helped Fulton (2-4) take an 18-6 lead after the meet started at 170 pounds, with Newman's Bryce Ivey earning a pin. There was a double-forfeit at 195.
Steamers freshman Brandon Kaecker got a pin at 106 to make it 24-6.
After another double-forfeit, the Comets (0-7) got their second win via a pin by Hunter Webb at 120.
Fulton's first forfeit win, and the Steamers' Cole Grant's 7-2 decision over Eli Monier at 132, boosted the margin to 33-12.
Newman won the next three matches. Elias Edmondson won a major decision at 138, former state champion Jake Snow got his first action of the season and earned a pin at 145, and Brandon Ahlgrim's pin at 152 – Newman's fourth pin – brought the Comets within 33-28.
But, the second forfeit loss anticlimactically ended things.
Snow, who, like many of his teammates, got a late start due to Newman's state football title, was dominant, scoring three quick takedowns before pinning Fulton's Sam Grant in 55 seconds.
"It felt really good," Snow said. "I haven't been able to do it for a while. Seven months off and you kind of lose your land legs. To go out there and perform like I did felt pretty good."
Newman was without standout Brady Rude, who was at the meet but has been sick of late. The Comets are also without 126-pounder Andrew Kobbeman, who broke a leg last week and is out for the season.
Comets coach Steve Davis had mixed emotions about his team's performance.
"We've got two different teams," he said. "We've got some kids that lack a lot of experience, and then some kids that are really good. You see some outstanding wrestling, and then some guys who need a little help. It's difficult to coach."
Camanche, Iowa, was supposed to make the meet a double-dual but did not show up.
By the numbers
• The teams split 10 contested matches
• Newman outscored Fulton 28-27 in contested matches
• Newman had four pins and a major decision in those matches
• Fulton had four pins and a decision in those matches
• Only two matches went the distance