JACKSONVILLE — Episcopal served notice Tuesday night that the race for the top of 1A-District 3 might have to include the Eagles in the chase as well.
In a Senior Night tri-meet at home, after both teams took turns taking down a short-handed Bishop Snyder side (Episcopal by a 66-18 count, Bishop Kenny 72-6), the Battle for the Boulevard began.
And while the teams will meet at least two more times in duals this season, it was the Eagles that drew first blood in that clash, taking a 48-28 victory over the Crusaders.
Bonus-point wins from Roberto Cuartero (15-5 at 145) and Colin Hearn (17-1 tech in 6 minutes) got BKHS (6-1) out to a 9-0 lead, but Episcopal (2-0) would rattle off five max-point wins in a row — fueled by pins from John Fernandez (160), Brennan Doherty (170) and Christian McGarity (182), plus forfeits at 195/220 — to open a 21-point lead.
The teams would trade pins at 285 and 106 (Kevin Thallemer at heavy for Bishop Kenny, Cohen Chesser at 6 for the Eagles), and the Crusaders would get as close as eight with two matches to go, thanks to Allan Bustos’ fall at 120, Ryan Mayer’s 11-2 major at 113 and a 6-3 win for Jack Raynor at 126.
But it was fitting that seniors would slam the door shut for Episcopal on Senior Night, as 12th-graders Joe Jackson (132) and Noah Meyer (138) would both take falls.
In the opening dual, both the Eagles and Cardinals (0-2) would win three matches by pin, but Episcopal would use eight forfeits to take advantage. Jackson (132), Hunter Luzar (152) and Lawson Perry (195) would each win by fall for the Eagles, while Aaron Villanueva (160), Josh Carter (285) and Christian Villanueva (126) would take pins for Bishop Snyder.
The middle dual would see the Crusaders sweep the five contested matches, with John Slade (152), Hearn (this time at 160), Thallemer, Raynor and Liam Underhill (132) each winning by fall.
Episcopal and Bishop Kenny will both attend Fernandina Beach’s Dual at the Dunes on Saturday, while Bishop Snyder will go back on the mats Friday night at First Coast.
St Augustine 42, Palatka 18: At St Augustine on the Yellow Jackets’ Senior Night, the hosts roared out to a 36-0 lead and made it hold up for their first dual victory of 2020-21.
Gabe Galloza (145), Hayden Yanni (152), Clint Griffin (160), Connor Spossey (182), Ryan Murphy (195), Nate Bumbalough (285) and Carlos Quintanal (138) each won by fall for the Yellow Jackets (1-3).
Palatka opened its season with pins from Mikade Harvey (113) and Brandon Lewis (132).
Fletcher v Sandalwood: We will update this post with a recap of this dual upon receipt of results.
BOX SCORES for these duals can be found HERE.