By Josh Brown
TROY — Ben Andrews had no clue what the score was.
He just knew he had found an opening, and he had to take advantage of it.
Trailing by four points with 20 seconds to go, Troy’s senior 120-pounder caught his opponent from Piqua in a sudden reversal, and though he wasn’t able to stick the pin, it ended up being a five-point move to give him a stunning 7-6 decision as the Trojans won three of the final four matches to defeat the Indians 48-28 and finish Senior Night 2-0 Wednesday at Troy High School.
Troy defeated West Carrollton 60-7 to start the night and Piqua held off Greenville 34-18, and the Trojans led the Indians 36-22 with four matches to go when Andrews’ turn came up. He trailed 6-2 late in the third when he flipped over backwards, landing instantly with his opponent’s shoulders to the mat and drawing a huge cheer from the crowd.
And, since he didn’t realize that the reversal had put him only three near-fall points away from winning, he fought for the pin.
“No, I had no idea,” Andrews said. “But I knew I was not going to let go of what I did have. I didn’t know what the score was. I just thought I’d have to pin him.”
Time ran out with no pinfall — but the referee flashed three fingers for a three-point near-fall, giving Andrews the come-from-behind win.
“That was … yeah. That was a big self-confidence boost,” Andrews said. “It feels good not to have to give people the bad news tomorrow, to be able to walk into school with my head held high.”
“My assistant looked away for a second, heard everyone yell and turned back and asked what happened. He wished he’d watched the whole thing,” Troy wresting coach Doug Curnes said. “Ben knew it was close. It was just one of those scrambles at the end of a match, and he ended up on the positive end of it.”
Next up was the second of Troy’s three seniors, Shane Love (126) — and another match decided by one point.
Neither wrestler mounted any offense as both Love and his opponent were tied 1-1 late in the third after each scoring an escape to start the second and third periods. But the Piqua wrestler was warned for stalling after they both went tumbling out of bounds, and as they went to line back up, he took his time putting his toe on the line — and Love was awarded with the winning point.
“Shane had an opponent where things could have gone either way,” Curnes said. “He rose to the occasion, though. His intensity at the end of the match showed that.”
Those two wins sealed the match with two matches to go, and Kobe Scott (132) scored a first-period pin to make it 48-22, and Piqua’s Andrew Bolin (138) finished the match with a pin.
The Trojans began the night with an easy win over West Carrollton, which only had five wrestlers. Justin Mittelstadt (138) started the night with a 5-1 victory, then senior Frankie Quintero (145) jumped on top early and cruised to a 13-4 major decision.
West Carrollton scored a 15-5 major decision to make the overall score 7-4, but a pair of forfeits gave Troy a 19-4 lead. A narrow decision in the Pirates’ favor at 195 made the score 19-7, but Troy scored six straight forfeits and a 20-2 tech. fall by Scott to close out the match easily.
Curnes knew Piqua would not be so easy.
“The guys had to stay patient,” Curnes said. “We knew things were going to get a little more hectic against Piqua. They have good kids, and their good kids are where ours are. But it’s been a while since we’ve had this kind of team, where we have room to play with the lineup without giving up forfeits. The guys stayed up for it.”
Mittelstadt (145) kicked things off with a pin, but Quintero (152) dropped a 16-6 major decision to Brennan Hicks. Troy won four forfeits while giving one away to take a 30-10 lead, then Piqua’s Jake Hetzler (285) scored a pin to make it a 14-point match. Troy won another forfeit, but Andrew Bolin (113) score a pin to keep the Indians alive at 36-22.
Andrews and Love put the match out of reach, though, and Troy celebrated the win.
“Being in our old home gym in a dual match setting, it was fun to see the guys rise to the occasion,” Curnes said. “It’s been a while since we won two matched in a row. It’s been a while since we beat Piqua. This was a good night for the seniors to remember.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.