By David Fong
COLUMBUS — Jacob Edwards didn’t know how much time was left — but he knew it wasn’t much.
Knowing he might have just one final chance to achieve his dream, the Troy Christian sophomore wrestler put together the most important — and most impressive — 15 seconds of his young life.
“I knew it was short time,” Edwards said. “I didn’t know how much time, but I knew it was short time. I knew I had to do something.”
Down 1-0 with just 15 seconds remaining in his Division III state semifinal match, the 106-pound wrestler pulled off an incredible reverse on Delta’s Cole Mattin, picking up a 2-1 victory and earning himself a spot in today’s Division III state title match.
Edwards will be the only Miami County wrestler competing today for a state title, as Miami East’s Graham Shore (113 points) and Covington’s Ryan Ford (138 pounds) both lost their Division III semifinal matches.
“It’s hard to describe … this feels great,” said Edwards, who got to the semifinals with a 6-3 quarterfinal victory over Akron Manchester’s Zach Larue earlier in the day. “I was here last year for the finals and I thought to myself, ‘I want to be there one day.’ And what do you know? I’m going to be wrestling on the big stage in front of everybody. What a great feeling.”
For the better part of his semifinal match, it didn’t look like Edwards was going to get to experience that feeling. After a scoreless first period, Mattin chose to the down position to start the second period and picked up the escape to take a 1-0 lead. He would hold that lead through the remainder of the second period.
In the final period, Mattin was able to ride Edwards for the first 1:45, before he picked up a stalling call, which forced a restart to the match.
“We were getting pretty upset,” Troy Christian coach Steve Goudy said. “They let him ride us for the first 1:45 — he wasn’t really doing anything. Then they gave us a token stalling call, which forced the restart. Jacob isn’t really a roller, but he was able to roll out for the reverse.”
That restart, Edwards said, was critical to getting the reverse.
“I knew when we restarted that I wanted to hit a Granby roll,” he said. “I was able to turn in on him and get the shot. That restart was crucial. I knew with 15 seconds that this is what I had been training for all year … and I was able to get it.”
Shore got into the semifinals with a 6-4 win quarterfinal win over Apple Creek Waynedale’s Christian Wellman early in the day Friday, but in lost his semifinal match, 3-2, to Shadyside’s Greg Quinn.
“We felt like if ‘G’ could get that escape at the end and force overtime, we had a pretty good chance,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said. “We had a lot of confidence ‘G’ would get out of it. But the Quinn kid is really good on top. He’s a funky wrestler who is able to get you in positions you don’t want to be in. But we’re still proud of Graham. We’ve got to come back (Saturday) and wrestle well.”
Shore will compete in today’s consolation semifinals, as will Covington’s Ford.
Ford reached the semifinals with a dominating 11-4 win over Rootsrown’s Brandon Huffman in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, however, Delta’s Dustin Marteney defeated Ford, 9-3. After finishing third at state each of the past two seasons, that will be Ford’s goal again today.
“I’ve been training all year to win the whole thing,” Ford said. “That obviously isn’t going to happen. Anything other than first place is a disappointment.”
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong