Thursday night's high school wrestling match between the Hanover Nighthawks and the Fairfield Green Knights was more of a battle to see who could send enough wrestlers on the mat.
The match which took 35 minutes to complete featured eight forfeits, five first period pins and one major decision. When the smoke cleared, the Green Knights had a 42-40 win at the Hawk House.
Oddly, it was that major decision that may have decided the match. At 138 pounds Hanover sent their 100-win wrestler, Ian Brown, out against Fairfield's Cameron Scalio. As it turned out, it was Scalio's ability to avoid getting pinned that proved to be the difference between the teams.
Brown took a 4-0 first-period lead on a takedown and two near fall points. He reversed Scalio in the second period to make it 6-0. He then tacked on an escape and takedown in the third period to complete the 9-0 major decision for four team points. The two points he didn't get from a pin was the difference in the match.
"We could not afford Brown to pin Scalio," Fairfield coach E.J. Small said. "Both teams needed to get even on the coin flip. They got the call, so that made the 138-pound match even more important. We wrestled pretty good. David Stone's win at 132 pounds and our heavyweights all stepped up tonight."
With the match starting at 132, Stone gave the Knights a lead they would never lose as he put Zach Barnes on his back 1:48 into the bout.
After Brown's win at 138, the Knights received forfeit wins at 145, 152, and 160 pounds to open a 24-4 lead. Brad Irvin's stopped the bleeding for the Hawks when he pinned Fairfield's Josh Hill in 1:42.
When Hanover senior Tyler Wentz, making his last appearance at the Hawk House, received a forfeit at 182 pounds, it allowed the Hawks to draw closer at 24-16.
It got even closer after Logan Hamm added six points to Hanover's total when he pinned Tyler Hewitt at 195 pounds to make it 24-22 in favor of the Knights.
That would be Hanover's final chance to affect the final score as the Knights' heavyweights, Jacob Miller at 220 pounds and Brett Harris at 285 pounds, both turned in pins, Miller in 1:18 and Harris in 22 seconds.
With no wrestler at 106, the Hawks had to forfeit to Fairfield's Nicole Small to give the Knights a 42-22 lead with three matches remaining.
The Knights forfeited all three matches to escape with the win. Hanover's other senior, Giuliano Graziosi, picked up one of those forfeits at 113.
"We knew it would be tough for Ian to pin Scalio at 138 and that it would probably decide the match," Hanover coach Dave Cataldo said. "We have to forfeit a lot right now due to injuries and disciplines. It's tough to win when you only have 11 wrestlers available."
132 -- David Stone, F, pinned Zach Barnes, 1:48; 138 -- Ian Brown. Han, dec. Cameron Scalio, 9-0; 145 -- Wayne Wivell, F, won by forfeit; 152 -- Indy Mills, F, won by forfeit; 160 -- Nick Mort, F, won by forfeit; 170 -- Brad Irvin, Han, pinned Josh Hill, 1:42; 182 -- Tyler Wentz, Han, won by forfeit; 195 -- Logan Hamm, Han, pinned Tyler Hewitt, 1:49; 220 -- Jacob Miller, F, pinned Ben Krentler, 1:18; 285 -- Brett Harris, F, pinned Ryan Bowman, 0:22; 106 -- Nicole Small, F, won by forfeit; 113 -- Giuliano Graziosi, Han, won by forfeit; 120 -- Alexander Watson, Han, won by forfeit; 126 -- Caleb Garland, Han, won by forfeit.