Wrestling: Last-second escape gives Falcons win

The Falcons pulled out a last-second win over Palomar
The Falcons pulled out a last-second win over Palomar

With the Southwest Conference match coming down to the final seconds, Cerritos College freshman Randy Gonzalez (Lakewood HS) recorded an escape at the buzzer to secure a 4-3 win, which resulted in a 24-19 win over Palomar College on Wednesday night. Entering the 285-pound match, the Falcons held a slim 21-19 lead after freshman 197-pound Jarrod Nunez (Mayfair HS) posted an 18-4 major decision. Gonzalez, taking on Oscar Solano, held a 3-0 lead heading into the final two minutes of the match. The match was tied after Solano recorded an escape and takedown, and with time running out, Gonzalez was able to secure the final point with his buzzer-beating escape in a 4-3 win to give the Falcons a 24-19 team win. A tie would have forced an overtime period, with a win by Solano resulting in a Palomar team win.

The Falcons posted a 24-19 win over Palomar The Falcons picked up key extra team points with their five other wins on the night, as freshman Joshua Mendoza (Warren HS) opened the match with a pin over Art Baeza in 6:57 at 125 pounds. Leading 14-8 after the first five matches, the Comets recorded a pin at 165 pounds and a technical fall at 184 pounds to pull ahead, 19-17 in the team score. Cerritos earned a big win by sophomore 174-pound Zack Gonzalez (Lakewood HS) when he defeated Cameron Cox, 11-5. Leading, 6-2 after the second period, Gonzalez recorded a pair of takedowns and received three penalty points along the way due to stalling tactics by Cox.

Sophomore Joshua Brown (Esperanza HS) helped the Falcons to their early lead with his 10-4 victory over Nathan Navida at 149 pounds, while freshman Larry Rodriguez (Santa Ana Calvary Chapel HS) handled Jessy Diaz, 17-2 in their 157-pound match. It was an 8-0 lead after the first period and then 10-0 after two periods. Rodriguez was close to ending the match in the first period, but could not complete the pin. Needing a win at 197 pounds, Nunez came through with his 18-4 victory over Kalani Sorensen. In the win, he recorded a pair of four-point near falls.

The Falcons will travel back down to Palomar on Saturday for the Southern California Team Dual Championships. Cerritos has won the championship the last two seasons.

Cerritos 24, Palomar 19

125 – Joshua Mendoza (Cerritos) pinned Art Baeza in 6:57
133 – Raul Ortiz (Palomar) won by major decision over Jose Espinoza, 17-4
141 – Eric Reyes (Palomar) won by major decision over Nick Camacho, 13-4
149 – Joshua Brown (Cerritos) won by decision over Nathan Navida 10-4
157 – Larry Rodriguez (Cerritos) won by technical fall over Jessy Diaz, 17-2
165 – Mace Anderson (Palomar) pinned Nick Dozier in 2:02
174 – Zack Gonzalez (Cerritos) won by decision over Cameron Cox 11-5
184 – Nick Kimball (Palomar) won by technical fall over Isaiah Leyva, 17-2
197 – Jarrod Nunez (Cerritos) won by major decision over Kalani Sorensen, 18-4
285 – Randy Gonzalez (Cerritos) won by decision over Oscar Solano, 4-3

Photo courtesy of Palomar College