Strong performances from Rowden, Rue, and Kinney helped Cougars pull away from the Tigers

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby junior Josh Rowden utilized back control and the guillotine technique to dominate his opponent en route to the pin. CANBY—Heading into the dual meet with Tigard, Canby was 4-3 as a team in dual meets. The Cougars had a solid lineup of wrestlers, and the team put in the necessary work to get the win. At the end of the meet, Canby walked away with a 48-27 win over the visiting Tigers.

To hear Canby head coach Jeremy Ensrud tell it, they were expecting the meet to be a battle.

"Going into this match, Tigards tough," Ensrud said. "They're really tough this year. I knew it was going to be a tight match. I had a conversation with our boys, said, 'We need to come out fighting, get every bonus point we could and not give up bonus points.' They did a heck of a job doing that, and ended up pulling out on top better than I expected. It was a great match, and we won a dual match not a lot of people expected us to win."

To start off the meet, 106-pound Canby junior Jonathan Zuriaga outlasted Tigard's Cameron O'Connor in a gritty 8-6 decision win. The usually dominant Zuriaga seemed to tire around the midway mark of his matchup, but held on to get the nod. Coach Ensrud was not sure why Zuriaga faded the way he did.

"The weekend and today he's been kind of sluggish," Ensrud said. "Maybe he's sick, I don't know. We're going to get him healed up and get him back firing on all cylinders because he is tough, he's a tough kid. That kid he wrestled tonight is a tough kid too."

After the first match, Tigard secured a pair of pins as Zack Vorvick and Killian Ryan downed Canby's Nick Marquez and Ty Leder respectively. Canby would bounce back strong with senior Jordan Petersen pinning Tigard's Andre Eagles in a 126-pound clash. However, 132-pounder Adam Marquez was felled by Tigard's Emilio Jimenez, and the Tigers were up 18-9.

Canby would come storming back. 138-pound junior Josh Rowden utilized his takedowns and the guillotine hold from back control to eventually pin Tigard's Keoni Wilder in a one sided affair.

"It's the same move as a twister in MMA (mixed martial arts)," Ensrud said of Rowden's performance. "It's called the guillotine in wrestling, it came from wrestling first. It's a very uncomfortable move. It's the only place in wrestling where you can lock legally around the neck without an arm entrapped. You can pin a guy there. I don't know if that kid was flexible or what but it seemed like his hips were still facing the other direction, so we weren't quite where we needed to be get the pin, but he was going for the fall." HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Harrison Kinney gets the takedown against Tigard's Alex Leon. Kinney would get the pin in his 145-pound matchup.

145-pounder Harrison Kinney picked off his opponent's ankles early in the match up to get takedowns, and hit a double leg takedown late en route to the fall. 152-pounder Jake Lowry bullied Tigard's Ed Belmont for a quick pin.

Tigard made up a little lost ground, as 160-pounder Cole McCallister picked up a hard fought decision over Canby sophomore Logan Doman. Doman let out cries of frustration after the match had ended, and Tigard closed the score gap to 27-21.

HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - 170-pound Michael Clark got the pin over Tigard's Tony Loza, keeping the Cougars in the lead. Canby would go on to win the dual meet 48-27 on Thursday, Jan. 18. Michael Clark, Canby's 170-pound representative picked up a pin the second round of his match with the Tiger's Tony Loza. Sophomore Brent Patterson looked to keep the wins coming for the Cougars, but was dominated by Tigard's Jacob Beck before finally being pinned.

With the score standing at 33-27, the Cougars needed to pick up some crucial wins in the final three matches if they wanted to pick up the win as a team. They did.

Junior Sam Shuey picked up a pin over Tigard's Brandon Baker off of a pair of takedowns, and junior Stephen Rue put on a show in getting his win over fellow 220-pounder Nick Miller. Rue executed several belly to belly throws before getting the pin. HERALD PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Canby junior Stephen Rue working to pin his opponent, Tigard's Nick Miller, after several suplexes.

"We just covered that move last week," Ensrud said. "He's an explosive, powerful kid. He actually wrestled that same kid last week. He threw him. For a big guy, he can move really quickly and adjust his hips really quick. That was slow motion, that one suplex he did, which kind of scared me, but he did it right so it worked. If he did that full speed it would have been really impressive. But he's a powerful kid and he can throw."

To round out the night, Canby junior Kyler Boyd rallied late to defeat Tigard's Javier Velasquez in an overtime decision. There was a little controversy in the match. Velasquez claimed to have been poke in the eye by Boyd, and Boyd complained to the referee of being struck in the head while on the ground.

"I think Kyler went to fake a shot and I think he caught the kid in the eye," Ensrud said. "I know Javier got pretty upset about that, saying, 'He's poking me in the eye.' I think it was inadvertent. With the dual on the line, and a tight match, I think he got kind of emotional about it."

Still, the decision went to Boyd 4-2, and Canby secured the meet with a final score of 48-27.

The Cougars next take part in the Colton Holly Memorial tournament hosted at Wilsonville High School on Saturday, Jan. 20.

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