DENVER — There were many in the Pepsi Center on Saturday night that thought Ryan Deakin’s run to a second state title was an afterthought.
The Legacy junior was facing a familiar foe in Poudre’s Jacob Greenwood. He had beaten the Impalas’ freshman in his usual methodical fashion 6-0 in December.
What a difference two months make. Greenwood turned the tables on Deakin, upsetting the defending state champ with a furious third period rally that sent the match to overtime, where he scored his fourth consecutive takedown for an 8-6 victory.
“I just wasn’t executing my moves,” said a somber Deakin as he waited his turn to get on the awards stand.
Early on Deakin did his thing, scoring a quick takedown of Greenwood and taking a 4-0 heading to the third period.
That’s when it all changed.
“We knew it was going to be a six-minute match. We knew it was going to be a grind. I had to stay mentally strong,” Greenwood said.
Greenwood started his rally early in the third, scoring a rare takedown of Deakin that cut the lead to 4-2 with 90 seconds remaining. After being cut loose, Deakin’s lead went back to 5-2.
But Greenwood, with momentum and a pro-underdog crowd on his side, capitalized with another takedown to narrow the gap to 5-4.
“I was trying to stay as calm and peaceful as possible and just really focus on getting set up and getting some good takedowns,” Greenwood said. “It just started clicking.”
Knowing he needed one last takedown, Greenwood again let Deakin go and with less than 30 to go got the necessary two points to push the match to overtime.
“I was just too content with the score and I need to start wrestling to dominate instead of wrestling not to lose,” said Deakin, who finished 46-2. “I lost track a little bit in that match and it cost me.”
Greenwood, who was named the outstanding Class 5A wrestler by the coaches, didn’t take long in overtime to finish the upset, taking down Deakin for a fourth time in a two-minute stretch.
“That was not expected, but the kid wrestled a great match,” Legacy coach Mike Thompson said. “It was just his night.”
It wasn’t exactly what Thompson had envisioned when he got six wrestlers into the tournament, but he also realizes that this was just the beginning of something really good for the Lightning, who finished ninth in the team race with 51 points. All six qualifiers, including fourth-place finisher Matt Hebel at 182 pounds, were juniors and will be back to make a run in 2016.
“I don’t think a lot of people expected us to be top 10 and we get everybody coming back next year,” Thompson said. “This is a pretty special group.”
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