Phillipsburg capped a big week in style, winning nine bouts en route to a 40-27 thrashing of Easton (Pa.) on Saturday night in the 80th meeting between these border rivals and the first matchup at the new Phillipsburg High School gym.
Senior Robert Melise, who picked up his 100th career win on Wednesday, punctuated the victory by decking Jonathan Pineda in 29 seconds in the final bout at 285 pounds. Melise earned the Easton Lions Club Award as the meet's most aggressive wrestler, while junior Brian Meyer took home the prestigious Brad Weaver Award as the outstanding wrestler for his 3-0 win over Darius Joyce at 152.
Phillipsburg (8-1), ranked No. 5 in the state by the New Jersey Wrestling Writers Association, is now 17-63 in the all-time series and the 40 points scored by the Stateliners is their highest total ever against the Red Rovers, surpassing the 36-20 victory at Easton in 2014. In addition, the 'Liners have won three of the last four meetings for just the second time since rolling off nine in a row from 1963-71.
"This feels so good," P'burg coach Dave Post told Mike Moore of Statelinersports.com in the postmatch interview. "We told the kids to try and put up as big of a number as we could on the scoreboard, and they certainly did that. We knew we had a chance to do something that no other P'burg team has done."
Post, now 3-4 all-time against Easton after going 0-4 against the Rovers as a wrestler for Phillipsburg from 2000-03, saw his team win nine of the 14 bouts, forfeiting at 195 to bump Drew Horun and Melise up to close out the final two bouts. Horun won by injury default at 220 for his 99th career win. He can become the 23rd Stateliner to reach 100 on Wednesday night at North Hunterdon.
"We knew no matter what lineup [Easton coach JaMarr Billman] put out, we would win seven bouts," said Post, whose team also posted wins over Warren Hills [37-24 on Wednesday] and No. 11 Hanover Park [34-33 on Thursday]. "From 120 to 138, we thought we could win three of those four by jockeying our lineup. And we almost won three [Tyris Manley was winning his bout at 120 at the time he was pinned]."
P'burg will have a chance to clinch at least a share of the Skyland Conference Raritan Division title on Wednesday with a win over North Hunterdon. The 'Liners (4-0 division) will travel to Voorhees the following Wednesday for their final division matchup.
PHILLIPSBURG 40, EASTON (Pa.) 27
106 -- Jr. Cullen Day (19-5), P, md. Fr. Colby Duffy (11-9), 11-2.
113 -- So. Travis Jones (15-7), P, p. Fr. Brett Scalzo (13-10), 2:58.
120 -- Fr. Mason Werkheiser (6-3), E, p. Jr. Tyris Manley (5-7), 4:29.
126 -- Fr. Jonathon Miers (21-4), E, tf. So. Thomas Abode (0-3), 15-0, 4:11.
132 -- So. Cody Harrison (9-4), P, d. Jr. Ryan Dilts (8-7), 5-2.
138 -- So. Kyle Tino (7-11), P, d. Jr. Connor Duffy (3-6), 8-5.
145 -- So. Jayson Zinsmeister (7-9), P, d. So. Gaven Krazer (8-9), 3-1.
152 -- Jr. Brian Meyer (20-6), P, d. Sr. Darius Joyce (16-7), 3-0.
160 -- Sr. Hayden Keleher (22-5), E, md. Jr. Shamyr Brodders (4-9), 15-5.
170 -- Sr. Dan Fisher (9-7), P, p. Fr. Peyton Keleher (1-3), :45.
182 -- Sr. Ethan DiRenzo (13-8), E, p. Fr. Cody Cruts (0-3), 2:38.
195 -- Sr. Max Viduszynski (18-6), E, forfeit.
220 -- Sr. Drew Horun (22-4), P, injury default, Jr. Jacob Frank (19-10), 4:12.
285 -- Sr. Robert Melise (19-2), P, p. Jr. Jonathan Pineda (21-6), :29.
Records -- Easton (Pa.) 10-4; Phillipsburg 8-1.
Referees -- Chip Castner and Frank Leitner.
Brad Weaver Award (Most outstanding) -- Brian Meyer, Phillipsburg.
Easton Lions Club Award (Most aggressive) -- Robert Melise, Phillipsburg.