GODDARD — Before the season, there was one date that stood out to the Andover Central wrestling team.
That was Dec. 16.
That was the night the Jaguars could knock off arguably the state's most powerful program — the Goddard Lions.
Looking more like a three-time defending state champion than the Lions, Central took care of Goddard 40-24 on Thursday night.
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With their win, the Jaguars, who are currently ranked second, could move into 5A's top spot in next week's Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association Poll.
"I'm real proud of the kids," Central coach Terry Alley said. "Year in and year out, Goddard has one of the best programs. It means a lot to come in here and win."
Goddard coach Brett Means was blunt in his assessment of his team. The Lions were pinned four times, including two falls in the final three matches.
"That was an old fashioned butt-whooping," Means said. "That's all that needs to be said."
On paper, Goddard seemed to be too powerful. The Lions had seven wrestlers ranked, while the Jaguars had only five.
That's why Alley thought it was important for Central to not get pinned when facing perhaps superior opponents.
And that's what Ben Lightfoot (112 pounds) and Joe Umscheid (119) made sure of.
"Our young guys right there at 112 and 119 lost but they really battled," Alley said. "We thought we could win either one of those if they didn't come out and hammer us early, so we had a chance into the third period."
The most highly anticipated match came at 145, where the top-ranked wrestlers in 5A and 6A, Central's Alex Bontz and Goddard's Trey Houlden, squared off.
There was little action until the third period, when Bontz escaped the grasp of Houlden for a point, then recorded a takedown just before the buzzer for a 3-0 victory.
"Going into the match I knew it was going to be a battle," Bontz said. "I tried to keep my pace and not give up any early points and stick it out to the end."
Heading into 171, Central only led 22-18 and Goddard had at least one potential fall remaining in its lineup — Dalton Beard at 189.
Alley thought if Taylor Brown could win at 171, then the Jaguars would be in good shape because of a guaranteed six points at 285, where they would win by default.
Brown overmatched Bret Turner from the beginning, recording two quick takedowns in the first 30 seconds, before getting the pin as the first period buzzer sounded, which sealed the victory for the Jaguars.
"We've been challenging each other in practice and working hard for this one," Brown said. "It was important for us to win tonight."
Andover Central 40, Goddard 24
103—Z. Gentler, AC def. Leach, G 12-0; 112—Bonilla, G def. Lightfoot, AC 10-5; 119—Martinez, G def Jo. Umscheid, AC 5-3; 125—Spangler, G def Panzer, AC 9-2; 130—J. Gentzler, AC pinned Lindsey, G 3:10; 135—Lemon, G, def. Lee, AC 9-8; 140—Ja. Umscheid, AC def Mitchell, G 1-0; 145—Bontz, AC def. Houlden, G 3-0; 152—Miller, AC pinned Stacy, G 1:05; 160—Capps, G pinned Duerr, AC 4:14; 171—Brown, AC pinned Turner, G 1:58; 189—Beard, G pinned Parker, AC :40; 215—Arndt, AC pinned Walker, G :48; 285—Henrickson, AC default