By michael leonard | RECORD PUBLISHING CO.
Field wrestling had a plan to upset the balance in Metro Division.
The Falcons had home-mat advantage over Crestwood on Thursday night in Brimfield and they had not wrestled in the state team tournament, as Crestwood had the night before.
More importantly, Joe Retherford's team was finally healthy and looked like the squad he thought he'd have from the season's outset.
Crestwood, meanwhile, had much of the same crew that has made them the dominant force in the Metro Division the last few years.
That was just enough for the Red Devils.
Field pushed Crestwood to the limit, but the Red Devils pulled out a 33-30 win.
Both teams tore through Akron Ellet in their other matches on the night. Crestwood defeated the Orangemen 75-6, while Field shut out Ellet 76-0.
Crestwood improved to 10-5, 6-1 in the Metro Division, establishing a three-way tie for first in the dual meet race with Ravenna and Coventry. Field moved to 5-8, 3-4 in the Metro Division.
Crestwood coach Dave Wrobel said he knew his team was in for "a dogfight."
"I knew when we saw Field at the beginning of the season that that was not going to be the same team we saw in the end," Wrobel said. "They had a lot of guys in the their proper weight classes tonight. I knew when we walked in, we were in for a brawl."
Retherford said he was satisfied with what he saw from his team, noting the match came down to a couple of calls.
"There were a couple of matches that could have gone either way," Retherford said. "Those are the matches we have to have. Crestwood has a great team. They earned it here tonight."
That match was back and forth affair, as the teams traded wins in the first six matches.
Crestwood was aided by the only forfeit of the match by James Testa at 220 pounds.
The heavyweight match may have been the more entertaining of the night, as Field's Nate Smith won a wild 18-13 with Crestwood's Doug Battiest.
Field got pins from 106-pounder Cory Simpson, but then the Red Devils' big guns started firing.
After Crestwood 113-pounder Jake Zemaitis scored a 14-5 win, 120-pound Connor Nemec scored a 5-3 decision.
However, Field then got a pin from 126-pounder Logan Lott in 1:01 and then benefit from a call against the Red Devil coaching staff. Twice the Crestwood coaches were called for unsportsmanlike conduct, costing the Red Devils three team points.
That call basically negated the points from a 1-0 decision win on a last-second escape from 132-pounder Josh Hillier.
"It's unfortunate," Wrobel said. "I don't know if I agree with the second call, but thankfully, it didn't hurt us."
Crestwood's Dylan Kager then pinned his man in 43 seconds, but Field struck right back with a 13-3 win from 145-pounder Zach Ladich with tie the match at 22-22.
With three matches left, Crestwood got a huge pin from one of its seniors, as 152-pounder Garrett Gerardi stuck Michael Swigart in 3:44.
Crestwood then got a 17-2 technical fall from 160-pounder Rick Kollman to clinch the match.
Ellet won only one individual bout on the night, as 195-pounder Brien Hayhurst pinned Crestwood's Stephen Cox.