Kent’s Ford is runner-up at Battle at the Bridge tourney

CHESAPEAKE CITY — Scottie Ford’s unbeaten streak ended at 19 when the Kent County High School sophomore lost for the first time this season in the championship round of the annual Battle at the Bridge wrestling tournament last week.

Ford, who advanced with a technical fall, followed by a major decision followed by a pin, lost on points to Sussex Central’s Talan Savage in the 138-pound title bout.

The final score, 8-2, disguised a much closer match as Ford’s foot slip gave Savage a takedown and debatable back points at the buzzer.

Kent County head coach Chris Yiannakis told The Evening Enterprise that Ford “took it well and he will be using the loss as catalyst to keep working hard to improve.”

This was the 27th edition of the Battle at the Bridge, hosted by Bohemia Manor High School.

The Jan. 5-6 invitational drew a competitive field of 22 schools from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Kent County (34 points) had the smallest contingent with only five wrestlers, but finished ahead of Elkton (22), Bo Manor (20) and St. Charles (8) in the team standings.

Bo Manor had 10 wrestlers, twice as many as KCHS.

The Trojans surely would have finished higher in the standings had not 144-pound senior Brady Sutton (15-3) suffered an injury in his first match. Subsequently, Sutton was sidelined by medical forfeit after his 2-0 start.

The first-, second- and third-place teams each filled all 14 weight classes.

All of the teams that finished in fourth through 10th filled at least 12 weight classes.

Sussex Central of Delaware was head and shoulders above everyone else, crowning seven champions on the way to 333 points. The Ravens boasted a total of eight finalists, in addition to four others who placed third or fourth.

Plymouth Whitemarsh (Pennsylvania) was a distant second in the team standings with 183 points and Harford Tech followed in third with 170 points.

North Caroline (118) was sixth and Queen Anne’s (92) was 11th.

Queen Anne’s senior Tremaine Jackson (22-2), who came up through Kent’s youth wrestling program, placed second at 126 pounds. He lost in the title bout to Sussex Central’s Chase Murray, 5-4.

Already having won the Andy Perez Memorial Tournament and the Kent Holiday Tournament on back-to-back weekends, KCHS’ Scottie Ford opened his bid for a third straight title at the Battle at the Bridge with a 15-0 technical fall of Marple Newtown’s Jayden Hopkins in less than three minutes.

Ford defeated Penncrest’s Andrew Bostwick by a 15-5 major decision in the quarterfinals and in the semis decked Aberdeen’s JD Matherly midway through the second period.

Brady Sutton finished sixth in his weight class despite wrestling only two matches. He defeated Middletown’s Nick Eddinger, 4-2, and then received a medical forfeit over Lingamore’s Christian Ibarra in the quarterfinals, before pulling out because of injury.

Freshman Landon Merritt (113) and seniors Liam Gallo (175) and Anthony Wilson (190) also competed. Collectively, they had only one win, Wilson’s second-period pin of Elkton’s Wordell Hooks in the piggyback round. Wilson is about 15 pounds under his weight class.

Merritt deserved a better fate in his second-round match against eventual champion Tommy Arms of Conrad School of Science (Delaware); he hit a cradle twice but Arms was able to slip through for an eventual pin.

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