HUNTLEY – They came to see Marian Central and Huntley wrestle. They hoped to see Dylan Connell and David Ferrante wrestle.
The crowd received its wish. The two defending state champions, both entering the night unbeaten on the season, squared off in the 170-pound match Friday.
Marian’s Connell came away with a second-period pin. Connell’s Hurricanes won the dual, 47-16. Connell caught Ferrante backpedaling and knocked his leg out from under him, then fell on the Huntley senior for a pin.
“As soon as he started going down, I knew I had to stick to what my basics are and just hold him there,” Connell said.
Connell won the IHSA Class 2A state championship at 160 last season and was the champ at 152 as a freshman. Ferrante won the Class 3A state title at 170 last year.
“Dylan believes in himself,” Marian coach David Silva said. “We’ve been wanting that match for a long time. Finally it came true today. I’m glad that both teams sent their 170-pounders out because that’s the match we came here for.”
Huntley was without a handful of starters: Matt Burba (285), Andrew Lira (132/138), Rukkus Hunkins (160) and Joaquin Miranda (182) did not wrestle. Marian has been wrestling all season without injured state runner-up Josh Glover (106).
Even so, the lopsided result made a statement.
“We wanted this match,” Silva said. “It finally happened. When the papers put Huntley No. 1 in the power rankings every week, we see that. Today we set the record straight.”
Marian (18-0) remains unbeaten on the season. The Hurricanes are ranked No. 2 in Class 2A by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association. Huntley (14-5) is No. 8 in 3A.
Ferrante and Connell had never squared off in high school competition.
“Ferrante made the first mistake,” Huntley coach B.J. Bertelsman said. “He turned into that. He didn’t need to be there. Connell has length on him. He just got caught in a bad position.”
Marian had pins from Daniel Valeria (132), Bryce Shelton (138), Niko Lopez (182) and Lou Gaddy (195). Charlie Fitzgerald (106), Nick Davidson (113), Elon Rodriguez (120), Jonah Braden (152) and Kaden Randazzo (160) won by decision. Valeria (27-0) and Shelton (26-0) are also unbeaten.
For Huntley, Mike Skoupas (285) recorded a pin. Sam Spencer (126), Jeremy Jakowitsch (145) and Ryder Hunkins (220) won by decision.
Davidson, a freshman, came from behind to beat Huntley’s Jake Jensen at 113. Jensen was called for stalling in the final seconds of the third period, which forced overtime. Davidson won the match, 3-2, in overtime.
“[Jensen] is a good kid that beat the returning state champion [Crystal Lake South’s Christian Olsen] in 2A," Silva said. "[Davidson is] a freshman who is just scratching the surface of his potential. He kept his composure and wrestled hard for eight minutes.”
STAR OF THE MEET
Dylan Connell, Marian Central, jr., 170
In a battle of defending state champions, Connell pinned Huntley’s David Ferrante in the second period to remain undefeated on the season.
18: Marian Central improves to 18-0 in duals this season.
AND ANOTHER THING …
Marian and Huntley had each won a trophy at dual team state over the past two seasons but had not faced each other in recent years.
Marian Central 47, Huntley 16
106: Fitzgerald (Marian) def. Rogala (Hunt), 9-1.
113: Davidson (Marian) def. Jensen (Hunt), 3-2 (OT).
120: Rodriguez (Marian) def. Henkle (Hunt), 19-7.
126: Spencer (Hunt) def. Burke (Marian), 5-2.
132: Valeria (Marian) p. Le (Hunt), :59.
138: Shelton (Marian) p. Elmeligi (Hunt), 1:18.
145: Jakowitsch (Hunt) def. Holian (Marian), 17-4.
152: Braden (Marian) def. Sobrepena (Hunt), 10-1.
160: Randazzo (Marian) def. Coleman (Hunt), 5-1.
170: Connell (Marian) p. Ferrante (Hunt), 2:38.
182: Lopez (Marian) p. Damsch (Hunt), 1:38.
195: Gaddy (Marian) p. Cerny (Hunt), 1:57.
220: Ry. Hunkins (Hunt) def. Pawlak (Marian), 9-2.
285: Skoupas (Hunt) p. Gatz (Marian), 2:25.