Northridge’s Jake Adkins did not have long to feel sorry for himself Friday.
Two hours after losing a second-round match, the Northridge sophomore was left with his fate in his hands at 106 pounds.
Adkins wrestled the same way he has all season and made it last one more day, beating Upper Sandusky’s Thurston Dyer 1-0 to clinch an All-Ohio finish in the Division III state tournament at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
“After that loss, I knew it was now or never,” Adkins said. “I was just focused on getting that (win), staying in the tournament and getting on the podium.”
It was a day of rebounds. Adkins, teammate Thomas Williams and Johnstown’s Clayton Bullard each lost second-round matches, but the trio recovered to ensure they would be standing on the podium. The final two consolation rounds are this morning.
Adkins got a second-period escape, and that is all he needed to wear down Dyer. Adkins was 0-2 in his 2012 trip. Now, he will leave with a medal.
“The kid obviously had been watching me because he knew I am strong at neutral,” said Adkins, who wrestles for seventh place this morning. “He wanted to stall at neutral and take it to the mat. I just think that is where he had the best advantage.”
Williams (145) fell short of the repeating as a semifinalist, but he still could better his fourth-place finish from a year ago. Williams opened up a third-period lead on Genoa Area’s Drew Keenan, earning an 8-3 victory. Williams added a 6-1 victory against Sandusky St. Mary’s Adam Guerra later Friday.
“It feels great now,” Williams said. “Going into that match, there were a lot of nerves obviously. I need to just buckle down and wrestle, so I can get as high as I can.”
Bullard (195) and Loudonville’s Ryan Weber had no secrets during their second-round match. It was clear early it would not be a repeat of Weber’s lopsided 11-4 victory in the Mid-Buckeye Conference final a month ago.
Bullard trailed 4-3 after one period and 7-5 after two. Bullard battled the entire third period in an attempt to get the tying or winning points, but he had to settle for a 7-6 loss.
“It was frustrating,” Bullard said. “I was trying to come back and get some redemption.”
Bullard bounced back, making short work of Archbold’s Travis Jaramillo. Bullard led 7-1 in the second period before finishing a pin at the 2:39 mark. Bullard then beat Delphos Jefferson’s Colin McConnahea 9-6. Bullard could match his third-place district finish with two more victories.
“We are just showing our little part of Ohio is strong,” said Bullard, of the MBC’s top teams’ strong showing.
Newark Catholic’s D.J. DeVito and Northridge’s Rob Mickey (160) each lost a consolation match and were eliminated.