stltoday.com | COLLINSVILLE • Beating the Quincy wrestling team is never easy, and beating the Blue Devils after spotting them a double-digit lead is even tougher. But that's exactly what Collinsville did Tuesday night.
Trailing 30-15, the host Kahoks rallied for a 38-35 victory over Quincy in a season-opening quad match. Collinsville finished 3-0, winning 55-16 over Carbondale and 42-23 over Chatham Glenwood.
"You never know where your wins are going to come from," Collinsville coach Tom Blaha said. "We've got six seniors in the lineup, but I started a freshman and a few sophomores.
"I know Quincy wanted to win bad, because they've never beaten us here. It was nice to pull it out at the end."
Quincy took a 12-0 lead as Gerrad Straube (120 pounds) and Michael Peters (126) got pins against brothers Colton and Blake Miller. Jordan May's 7-1 win over Connor Emrick at 132 got Collinsville on the scoreboard, and a pin by Kenny Sims over Stephen Sharp at 138, after trailing 10-2, brought the Kahoks within 12-9.
"I was pretty happy about my performance," said May, a sophomore who won all three of his matches. "I've been working my butt off ever since the season started, and I want it this year."
The Blue Devils seemed to regain control of the match after a pin by Matt Bilgri at 145, and a 4-0 victory for Parker Schutte over Charlie Hunter boosted their lead to 21-9. Collinsville's Tremain Streater won on a pin at 160, but a pin by Dakota Downs at 170 and Logan Hagerbaumer's 6-2 win over Brandon Fisher at 182 gave Quincy its biggest lead at 30-15.
Collinsville's Alex Stowers got a pin at 195, but Matt Ballard's technical fall win over Cesar Contreras put Quincy on top 35-21.
That would be the last victory of the night for the Blue Devils. Collinsville heavyweight Drew Pikey pinned David Baze in 42 seconds, and 106-pounder Cody Pope pinned Trevor Schutte in 3:47, bringing the Kahoks within 35-33.
Pope's win set up a decisive final match at 113 pounds, and Collinsville senior Devontae Smith, a sectional qualifier and a 33-match winner last season, came through with a 24-9 win over Stephen Wallace.
"I think Cody Pope is going to surprise a lot of people," Blaha said. "He doesn't have a lot of varsity mat time, but he has a lot of mat time (at) JV and freshman. He's a big 106-pounder, and he gets to practice with Devontae every day.
"I told Pope and Devontae that we needed two falls if we were going to pull it out. When Devontae got up by eight, I told him he didn't have to go so hard for it so he wouldn't get in trouble. He would have liked to have the fall, but a tech fall is pretty good."
Collinsville's two other wins weren't nearly as dramatic. Against Carbondale, Pope, Smith and Fisher all won on pins in less than a minute, while Contreras (2:37) and Sims (3:34) also had pins.
"I like having this match so early in the year against three quality opponents," Blaha said. "Chatham's always strong, Carbondale always brings in a good team and Quincy always makes you work on the mat. It helps the kids realize where they're at and where they need to get to."
The Kahoks were equally dominant against Glenwood as Smith, May, Dylan Johnson (170) and Pikey all took less than a minute to record pins. At 152 pounds, the Kahoks' Mark Deavila won on a pin in 5:22.
"Wrestling at 152 is a big difference for me, because I'm weighing in at 138, so I'm going two weight classes above," said Deavila, a freshman who beat Carbondale at 145 and lost to Quincy at 145. "It's all about having a good stance and good position, and you have to keep on moving."