Mojave’s wrestling team hadn’t taken the mat yet this season and was supposed to have the weekend off.
But when Shadow Ridge coach Gus Gledhill called Mojave coach Joseph Sisneros two days before the Mustang Stampede, the Rattlers didn’t hesitate to pack up their singlets and replace Legacy in the 24-team field.
The wrasslin’ Rattlers didn’t let Sisneros down.
After a tough first day, Mojave went 3-0 on Saturday to win the Bronze Bracket championship, defeating Rancho, 42-33 in the final.
“It’s awesome,” Sisneros said. “Day one was a little bit of us behind the eight-ball. It was our first match of the year. But we battled back, went 3-0 and I can’t ask for anything more.”
After the most intense match of the dual that saw Mojave’s Cody Larkin disqualified for illegally throwing Ajani West on his head late in the third period, Rancho closed to within 36-33, and it came down to Rattlers 126-pounder Jayzen Cabbab and Rancho’s Jose Rubio.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I’m real confident in him,” Sisneros said. “He’s a second-year (wrestler), he’s worked hard and he deserved to be the lineup. I never really scouted the kid. But during the 120-pound match, I went up to Jayzen and told him ‘Do you, and let’s get a stick’ and get that trophy and that’s what he did.”
Cabbab took a 3-2 lead with an escape at 1:41 of the second period, and upped it to 5-2 when he got out of headlock and immediately scored a takedown with 26 seconds left. Cabbab scored the pinfall 20 seconds later to give Mojave the Bronze title.
“Coach said forget about the team they got and get out there and do the work; he said to finish this off so we can go home early,” Cabbab said. “When I felt (Rubio) tight on the bottom, I knew I had to get him right there, right now. If not, he would get me.
“People think we’re the underdog. We missed a couple of tournaments, but here we are beating people. And if you want to be the top dogs, you gotta beat the top dogs.”
Rancho opened up a 15-12 lead early in the match, but the Rattlers got three straight pins from Sebastian James (170), Mekhi Brown (182) and Anthony Jones (195) to take a 30-15 lead. Rancho’s Raul Meza won the 220-pound match by forfeit before Ivan Parra pinned Eduardo Millan to give Mojave a 36-21 lead heading into the final stretch.
The Rams weren’t done, however, as Rancho’s 106-pounder Humberto Duarte won by forfeit to cut the Rattlers’ lead to 36-27 before the final two matches.
“The competitiveness was all there and the inter-town rival was there and I’m happy for them because my buddy at Mojave has been faced with rebuilding, so I’m happy for him,” Rams coach Ian Summerville said. “I’m happy for my guys too, they scrapped today and had to win two matches to get here and beat Moapa Valley and then Bishop Gorman. We just didn’t have enough in the end, but it was a nailbiter the whole way. It was great.”
Bishop Gorman defeated Bonanza, 42-30, in the third-place match.
GOLD BRACKET — Temecula Valley (California) defeated Shadow Ridge 44-25 in the championship match. Shadow Ridge 195-pounder junior Noah Gallardo, who took second in state last year, improved to 20-1 on the year with a pin for the Mustangs.
Cimarron-Memorial tied Canyon View (Utah) 42-42 in the third-place match and took home the trophy on criteria.
SILVER BRACKET — Temecula Valley’s B team defeated Arbor View 51-21 in the championship match.
Sierra Vista defeated Pine View (Utah) 53-30 to win the third place trophy.