ST. PARIS – Graham, ranked fourth nationally going into the match, upset second-ranked Blair Academy (New Jersey) in a highly-anticipated wrestling match on Saturday. The final score was 27-24 in favor of the Falcons.
The dual started at 160 pounds, with Blair’s Ryan Karoly winning a close bout with Garrett Jordan, 4-3.
Two of the nation’s top three wrestlers took the mat at 170, with top-ranked Alex Marinelli taking a 15-6 major decision over Brandon Dallavia to give Graham a 4-3 advantage.
At 182 pounds, Graham’s Kavan Sarver dropped from his usual 195-pound class and won a 9-3 decision over Jimmy Stillerman.
At 195 pounds, Blair’s Chase Singletary took an 11-3 major decision over Gage Braun to tie the match at 7-7.
Johnny Shafer won a key 5-1 decision over Blair’s Nick Mosco at 220, edging Graham back in front before Neil Putnam won a technical fall 24-9 over the Falcons’ Nick Newport.
Blair got a huge boost with an upset at 106. Mike Colaiocco defeated Jordan Crace, 3-1.
The visitors won decisions at 113 and 120 as well, taking a 21-10 lead in the match when Chris Cannon (113) and Zach Sherman (120) defeated Jeffrey Thomas and Justin Stickley, respectively.
Mitch Moore broke the drought for Graham at 126, pinning Josh Gobencion in just 23 seconds to make it 21-16 in favor of Blair.
Blair got three more points when Requir Van Der Merwe won a 5-0 decision over Ryan Thomas at 132 pounds.
Then the comeback started for Graham.
Brent Moore got a pin over Shane Brackup, then Rocky Jordan took a 5-0 decision at 145 to give Graham a chance to win the dual.
In the deciding bout, Graham’s Joey Sanchez won a 5-2 decision over John Manning at 152 – securing the Falcons’ victory.