LANCASTER, Pa. – Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team fell just short by a 24-19 score in a back-and-forth match against Virginia Military Institute on Friday evening at the Mayser Center. The Diplomats fell to 1-3 with the result, while the Keydets improved to 2-3.
Both squads traded pins to open the dual with VMI striking first with a fall at 125. Patrick Quinlan quickly evened the competition at 133, taking down his opponent at the 1:37 mark to make the score 6-6.
After the Keydets pulled ahead at 9-6 with a decision at 141, Sharron Townsend stepped to the mat and dominated his opponent in the 149 match, scoring seven takedowns en route to a 16-6 major decision to give the Diplomats their first lead at 10-9.
Rob King kept the momentum firmly in F&M's control at 157. With the score knotted at 2-2 in the second period, King registered the Diplomats' second pin of the evening at 2:14 to extend the F&M advantage to 16-9. The Keydets began to battle back. A first-period takedown was enough for a 3-0 decision by VMI at 165, followed by another 10-3 decision at 174 to make it a one-point contest at 16-15.
Tied at 3-3 midway through the second period of 184, the Keydets' Derek Thurman landed a reverse to begin pulling away from the Diplomats' Anthony Mancini, taking the bout by an 8-4 score to put F&M in a 19-15 hole. Charles Kerkesner breathed life into the Diplomats at 197 with a pair of takedowns in the opening period and managed to hang on for a 6-3 decision to bring F&M within one heading into the final contest.
However, VMI's Juan Adams proved to be too much for Alex Henry at 285, earning a late second-period pin to seal the match for the Keydets.
The Diplomats return to the mat on Monday, Dec. 29, sending wrestlers to compete at both the Cradle Gear Invitational at Lock Haven and the Midlands at Northwestern.
VMI - 24, F&M 19
125: Dalton Henderson (VMI) over Dan Martoccio (F&M) (Fall 2:17)
133: Patrick Quinlan (F&M) over Hunter Starner (VMI) (Fall 1:37)
141: Emmitt Kelly (VMI) over Jason Bing (F&M) (Dec 5-2)
149: Sharron Townsend (F&M) over Jack Krall (VMI) (MD 16-6)
157: Rob King (F&M) over BJ Crozier (VMI) (Fall 2:14)
165: Shabaka Johns (VMI) over Andy Francos (F&M) (Dec 3-0)
174: Mark Darr (VMI) over Gordon Bolig (F&M) (Dec 10-3)
184: Derek Thurman (VMI) over Anthony Mancini (F&M) (Dec 8-4)
197: Charles Kerkesner (F&M) over Jake Tomlinson (VMI) (Dec 6-3)
285: Juan Adams (VMI) over Alex Henry (F&M) (Fall 4:54)