MEAD -- Normally Mead sophomore Sage Budd likes to play it safe during his matches but he decided to change his tactics against Skyline on Thursday night.
Watching how aggressively Skyline Falcons sophomore Ruben Rivera was during his pre-dual warm up, Budd thought the best way to attack his offensive opponent was by beating him to the punch and going on the offensive before he could.
His strategy paid off as Budd pinned Rivera, who won the 113-pound title at the Lyons Open one week prior, in 2 minutes, 58 seconds. His win helped lead the Mavericks to the dual 64-10, a score that was inflated by seven Falcons forfeits.
"I saw that he was being really aggressive in his warm up so I knew he was going to try to be physical. I just got a little physical back," said Budd, who was up 7-1 when the match ended. "I felt confident about the match. I made sure to stay in good position and maintain control the whole time."
At 21-3 on the season, Budd is ranked 16th at 120 pounds in Class 4A in Tim Yount's On The Mat Rankings but has been wrestling at 113, where he will stay, for the past week.
The 32-team cross-classification Top of the Rockies Invitational Wrestling Tournament, one of the region's premier invites, is this Friday and Saturday at Centaurus High School. The Mavericks, who have four ranked wrestlers, will be in attendance for the first time in school history.
"I'm pretty confident in myself," Budd said. "My team, it will be interesting to see how we do. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of close matches and I hope I rise to the occasion. I hope my teammates do, too."
Also for the Mavericks, senior Hugo Ramirez pinned freshman Abel Rivera in 4:24 and sophomore Justice Lovato pinned freshman Clark Roylance, 3:16.
Mavericks sophomore Cristian Cortez won an 11-2 major decision over Justis Evans.
For the illness-stricken Falcons, several of who found trashcans to vomit in following the dual's end, sophomore Jesus Contreras was the highlight of the evening in the dual's opening match at 145 pounds.
Contreras trailed Mavericks junior Michael Burnett by two points or less through two and a half rounds. But with the score 11-10 in Burnett's favor, Contreras scored a quick reversal and a near fall to retake the lead before pinning Burnett in 5:25 for a come-from-behind win.
"He was a really good wrestler," said Contreras, who also said he has made a 360-degree turnaround from last year thanks to Falcons head coach Morgan Thompson. "I was just able to turn the points and catch him with a move at the end."
Coming off an individual title at the Lyons Open last weekend, Falcons senior Braden Richards (15th in 4A) won an 14-4 major decision over Mavericks freshman Dyllan Burch at 120 pounds.
The Falcons forfeited at the 126, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285 spots, giving the Mavericks 42 free points. Both lineups were open at 106 pounds.
The Falcons have the week to recover before the Tri-Valley League tournament next Saturday at Frederick High School.
Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi
MEAD 64, SKYLINE 10
At Mead HS
145 -- Jesus Contreras, Skyline, pinned Michael Burnett, 5:25; 152 -- Hugo Ramirez, Mead, pinned Abel Rivera, 4:24; 160 -- Marco Clark, Mead, won by forfeit; 170 -- Mat Stinson, Mead, won by forfeit; 182 -- Kyle Couch, Mead, won by forfeit; 195 -- Chris Rayl, Mead, won by forfeit; 220 -- Jorge Cortez, Mead, won by forfeit; 285-- Dante Musick, Mead, won by forfeit; 106 -- Open; 113 -- Sage Budd, Mead, pinned Ruben Rivera, 2:58; 120 -- Braden Richards, Skyline, maj. dec. Dyllan Burch, 14-4; 126 -- Austin Van Hooker, Mead, won by forfeit; 132 -- Cristian Cortez, Mead, maj. dec. Justis Evans, 11-2; 138 -- Justice Lovato, Mead, pinned Clark Roylance, 3:16.