By LIZI ARBOGAST

@liziarbogast

MERCERSBURG - It's nearly impossible to win a dual meet when you're forced to forfeit six bouts.

That was exactly the story for James Buchanan when it was pitted against Waynesboro in a Mid Penn Colonial Divsion wrestling match on Thursday night.

Half the bouts were decided by forfeit, and James Buchanan gave away six of those, allowing Waynesboro to escape with a 51-27 victory.

The most telling thing for the Rockets (0-2, 0-2 MPC) was the fact that of the seven bouts wrestled, JB won four - three via pin.

"I just want to get the best matchups I can for the wrestlers that I have," Rocket coach Matt Gordon said. "I'm pleased with the way most of the boys wrestled tonight. It's just a shame when you give 36 points away in a dual meet, so it doesn't show on the scoreboard how well they wrestled."

After the first two matches were forfeited, Waynesboro already had a free 12-0 lead. The Indians (5-2, 2-0 MPC) expected to add to that when undefeated Aaron Layman took the mat. But Layman met his match in JB's Hunter Faith. Faith took control early, and Layman attempted to escape, Faith held him down to pick up two back points and a 4-0 lead by the end of the first period. He won the bout, 5-3.

"Our whole thing is not to make mistakes, and (Aaron) just made a mistake and got taken to his back," Waynesboro coach Eric Mowen said. "I knew that it was going to be close, and it was a match Aaron needed for his confidence, but Hunter did a great job. He did exactly what he had to do."

The Indians bounced back quickly with a pin by Colby Mowen at 126.

At 132, Waynesboro freshman Cody Frey faced veteran Austin Tucker. Frey certainly held his own in the first period, but Tucker came out strong in the second period. He quickly got a takedown and earned three back points before pinning Frey in 3:15.

"That's Austin's style; he usually kind of lays back in the first period," Gordon said. "He's not a super aggressive kind of wrestler. He usually feels his opponent out first, which is exactly what he did tonight."

Tucker brought the score to 18-9 - the closest it ever was. Then Waynesboro picked up two consecutive victories.

At 138, Kenyon Cuka was first taken down by Blake Egolf, but after a reversal, he earned four back points to have a dominating 6-2 lead in the first. In the second, Cuka started underneath and got a quick reversal. He attempted to swing Egolf's leg around the left side of his body, but when that didn't work, Cuka went the other way. He put Egolf in a half nelson, turned him over his back and quickly got a pin.

"I usually don't get taken down; I don't know what happened there, but I'm really good off bottom," Cuka said. "I figured I'd get out, but I didn't think I'd pin him. I just got him moving. I tried to take him the one way, but he didn't go. So I flipped him and pinned him."

Waynesboro senior Jesse Smith then got in a tight battle with Cameron Fox, but Smith dominated the third period to win a 7-3 decision.

"Jesse looked a little sluggish out there at first, but he got the job done," Mowen said.

At 152, Indian Wes Cline was no match for sophomore Casey Glunt, who got a takedown within the first 30 seconds of the match. From there, he wore down Cline until he got a pin at 1:56.

The next five bouts were forfeits - four of them in Waynesboro's favor - to set the score at 51-21 heading into the final bout. But James Buchanan got one last moment of glory when heavyweight Devin Reed pinned Shawn Robinson in 29 seconds.

Despite knowing JB would be forced to take a lot of forfeits, Waynesboro did not overlook the matches it did have to fight.

"We just wanted to win head-to-head," Cuka said. "That's pretty much what we did. Our three bigger guys won. Only Aaron - that was sad to see him lose because it was his first loss of the season."

Mowen said he knows that although the Rockets are going to struggle in dual meets, they're going to have some standouts come the postseason.

"I give their team a lot of credit," Mowen said. "Everyone's going to respect the guys they wrestled tonight. I look forward to seeing them do really well in the postseason ."

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Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or larbogast@publicopinionnews.com.

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Waynesboro 51

James Buchanan 27

106 - Ryan Neff (W) won by forfeit

113 - John Atkinson (W) won by forfeit

120 - Hunter Faith (JB) d Aaron Layman, 5-3

126 - Colby Mowen (W) p Kyle Lee, 0:42

132 - Austin Tucker (JB) p Cody Frey, 3:15

138 - Kenyon Cuka (W) p Blake Egolf, 3:09

145 - Jesse Smith (W) d Cameron Fox, 7-3

152 - Casey Glunt (JB) p Wes Cline, 1:56

160 - Dan Shields (W) won by forfeit

170 - Aiden Smith (W) won by forfeit

182 - Patrick Wade (W) won by forfeit

195 - Dustin Walker (JB) won by forfeit

220 - Andrew Paterno (W) won by forfeit

285 - Devin Reed (JB) p Shawn Robinson, 0:29

Next match: JB: Dec. 28 at Donegal Tournament, TBA ... Way: Dec. 28 at Conestoga Valley Tournament, 11 a.m.