Charlie Smorczewski and Marc Goodin were not about to be denied.
The Batavia wrestlers’ back-to-back falls at 138 and 145 pounds proved to be the final nails in the Geneva coffin.
The Bulldogs not only snapped the Vikings’ season-long winning streak but also drew first blood in what is expected to be a fierce race in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division.
With its 41-23 victory over Geneva Thursday night in Batavia, the Bulldogs captured a series of razor-tight matches and erupted late to seal the triumph.
In a stretch of six straight maximum-point matches, Batavia outscored its archrival 24-12 as Smorczewski and Goodin recorded consecutive falls to give Batavia an insurmountable 37-17 lead with two matches remaining.
“I went in there thinking I had to do it,” Goodin said of his first-period pin that clinched the dual match in the Bulldogs’ favor. “(The Smorczewski pin in the previous match) was great. That got me going. I went in there 100 percent confident.”
Smorczewski opened up a first-period lead and terminated his match less than a minute into the second.
“We just kind of fed off each other with the energy,” Smorczewski said of the Bulldogs critical wins by decision in the early going. “We knew (the Vikings) were going to be tough coming in at 9-0. We knew that we matched up well against them.”
The way the dual match began looked awfully promising for Geneva (9-1. 1-1) to remain undefeated. Tony Castellvecchia opened the way with a convincing 11-4 victory at 170 pounds for Geneva.
Moments later, though, it appeared as though Batavia (4-3, 1-0) had the equalizer.
But Cody Murphy had other plans, earning a takedown and accompanying 2-point near fall at the buzzer to reverse a 2-point deficit.
But the Murphy come-from-behind win was only illusory for Geneva.
Batavia put its signature on what would prove to be an electrifying array of gritty individual performances.
Micky Watson started the uprising with a hard-fought 2-1 win over state-ranked Geneva senior Jake Boser at 195 pounds.
“Those are two of the best wrestlers in the state,” Geneva coach Tom Chernich said.
The momentum was clearly in the Bulldogs’ favor when heavyweight Mitchell Krusz and 106-pounder Michael Doranski won back-to-back overtime decisions for Batavia.
The Batavia unanswered run had reached 20 points as a Connor McKeehan fall and Luke Schulz decision amplified Geneva having a team point docked for unsportsmanlike behavior.
“All the close matches didn’t go our way,” Chernich said. “I thought they came in in better shape than us.”
In the final match of the night, Jon Wagner gave Batavia its third win in extra time with a 10-2 triple-overtime verdict.
Geneva senior Keenan Freeman, a transfer from Hinsdale South, had a fall for the Vikings.
Brad Martens, the returning state qualifier for Geneva, and former state veteran Joey Shump from Batavia earned forfeit wins.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.