Derby and Goddard have had some entertaining wrestling matches in their heated rivalry, but it would be hard to find one like Wednesday night's match at Newman University.
Heading into the last match, Derby trailed Goddard 31-25 and needed a pin to force a tie a rule-book tiebreaker. Late in the second period of the 285-pound match, Travis Anderson did just that, pinning Austin Kilian to force the tie.
But based on their eight victories to the Panthers' six, the Lions won the dual and ended a three-year dual losing streak to Derby.
"That was a lot of fun," Goddard coach Brett Means said. "Certainly when we wrestle Derby it's always going to be a battle and intense."
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Goddard couldn't have asked for a better start, jumping out to a 15-0 lead that included an opening pin from Dakota Leach at 103.
"I think we were favored at 103 and 112 and we weren't sure about 119," Means said. "But that start was certainly nice."
Derby answered with its own run, winning five of the next six matches. Skyler McComb pinned Christian Frame at 130 and top-ranked Bradley Little pinned Blake Mitchell at 140 for a 25-18 lead.
"To be honest with you, I knew we were underdogs coming into this match, so I'm proud of how the kids wrestled," Derby coach Bill Ross said. "We've won the dual the last three years and they've beaten us at state. Maybe this year it can be the other way around."
Even though they led, the Panthers' minds shifted elsewhere after the 145 match where Ben Becker was taken off the mat on a stretcher.
After the whistle had been blown, Goddard's Trey Houlden continued his move on Becker, which ended with Becker landing awkwardly on his head and neck off the mat on the basketball court.
Ross said Becker was taken to Wesley Medical Center, then released.
"After the doctor felt around, they didn't even have to take an X-ray or anything," Ross said. "He'll be sore for a couple of days, but he's lucky it wasn't more severe."
Derby never seemed to recover after the nearly 30-minute delay. Goddard won the three matches, including a pin by Tyler Higgins and a near-fall by Dalton Beard.
"It was an emotional match and it was hard to stay calm," Beard said. "We knew late we needed some pins and tech falls — whatever it took to get points."
Anderson gave the Panthers' a glimmer of hope and his pin certainly jolted their crowd, which was subdued after Becker's injury.
"We weren't going to let ourselves get to their (Goddard's) level," Anderson said. "This match was important to us, but what really matters is how we do against them at state."
103—Leach, G, pinned Wells, D, 5:29; 112— Bonilla, G, def. Je. Morrow, D, 6-4; 119— Martinez, G, def. Suppes, D, 3-2; 125— Spangler, G, def. Ayer, D, 4-2 O.T.; 130— McComb, D, pinned Frame, G, :38; 135— Heincker, D, def. Lemon, G, 8-2; 140— Little, D, pinned Mitchell, G, 3:57; 145— Becker, D, def. Houlden, G, medical forfeit; 152— Kimple, G, def. Ja. Morrow, D, 3-1; 160— Lintz, D, def. Murro, G, 14-0; 171— Higgins, G, pinned Chavez, D, 5:00; 189— Beard, G, def. Schoeppel, D, 16-3; 215— Le, G, def. Marlatt, D, 9-7 O.T.; 285— Anderson, D, pinned Kilian, G, 3:41.