MANAHAWKIN, NJ- The South Plainfield High School wrestling team has been no stranger to top flight competition this season and yesterday night, the team got another chance to add yet another ranked win to their mantle.

The #3 Tigers (21-1) took a trip down to Manahawkin to lock horns against another high-level opponent in #17 Southern Regional. The Rams’ (9-2) wrestlers managed to put on some strong individual performances in the lighter weight classes, but the talent of the Tigers proved too much for them, and South Plainfield ended up walking away with their fourth ranked win of the season, this time 38-16.

Even though the Tigers ended up dominating late, the early stages of the dual were as back and forth as you’d expect when two group champion teams square off.

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Jake Giordano got the Tigers off to a strong start when he notched a 17-4 major decision over Ryan Thorn in the dual’s first match, at 126 pounds. Southern struck back in the next match as, Nicholas Pepe notched a 4-0 victory over Jacob Painton.

The two squads traded wins in the next three weight classes before South Plainfield’s Jake Hoffman connected on a go-ahead takedown with seconds remaining in his 152 match against Dan Gorman to get a 7-5 decision. Ben Lundy followed up Hoffman’s performance with a decision win of his own.

With the team score 13-9 in their favor, the Tigers closed the last seven matches with a 25-6 run that saw Ryan Marston, and Zach DelVecchio pick up decision victories, and Luke Niemeyer and Thomas Fierro score pinfalls. Joe Heilmann picked up a forfeit win in the dual’s last match.

In addition to getting the win, the Tigers also put forth a full 14-man roster in the match. To get that, the Tigers moved DelVecchio up a weight class to 285, Niemeyer moved up to 220, while Joseph Nardacci filled in at Niemeyer’s normal spot at 195. Because of injuries and other issues, yesterday was just the fourth time this season the Tigers didn’t have to give up any forfeits.

The Tigers will be back on the mat Wednesday, when they go on the road against South Brunswick.