TOMS RIVER, NJ - The Southern Regional Wrestlling squad defeated top-seeded Howell Township by a score of 27-24 in the state Group 5 wrestling championship Saturday.

The score was tied at 24-24 right before the final match. The final match of the evening was in the 152 weight class. Southern's Pat Mooney sealed the victory in a tight match against Christain Murphy by a score of 4-2.  

The Southern crowd at the Pine Belt Arena was loud and supportive. The team appeared to gain strength from that support all throughout the match.  

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Just a few weeks ago the Rams had a victory over perennial state powerhouse Phillipsburg.

When asked about tonights victory, Southern coach John Stout said, "I am very happy for the kids and coaches. These guys have earned every bit of their success."

To advance to the finals, Southern defeated Clifton 48-21 at 2 p.m. The stats for both the semifinal and final matches are below.  

Southern 27, Howell 24

160: Seon Bowker (S) d. Frank Leonardis  8-3
170: Connor Scully (S) md. Brandon Maurice  8-0
182: Peyton Blauvelt (S) md. Zack Barnes  14-6
195: Joe Toci (S) md. Ryan Marter  11-3
220: Eric Keosseian (H) d. Nick Suriano  13-7
Hwt: Joe Miele (S) d. Richie Christie  4-1
106: Darby Diedrich (H) md. Dylan Cardell  13-3
113: Kyle Slendorn (H) p. Owen Kretschmer  0:30
120: Nick Ciaccia (H) tf. Nick Pepe 16-0 3:34
126: Matt Barnett (S) d. Daniel Esposito  7-1
132: Anthony Gagliano (H) d. Gianni Bennett  5-2
138: Mike Racanelli (S) d. Peter Dee  2-1
145: Kris Lindemann (H) d. Teddy Caporrino  7-4
152: Pat Mooney (S) d. Christian Murphy 4-2


2 PM Semifinal Round    Southern 48, Clifton 21

152: Pat Mooney (S) p. Sean Yadimarco  2:30
160: Seon Bowker (S) d. Patrick DePasque  7-6
170: Peyton Blauvelt (S) p. Tiberiu Rizea  2:49
182: Joe Toci (S) p. Nick Nohal  3:24
195: Nick Suriano (S) p. Hunter Flores  0:29
220: Dan Parra (C) p. Joe Miele  1:54
Hwt: Jacob Abill (C) p. Dan Lynch  0:28
106: Dylan Cardell (S) p. Matt Perez  0:51
113: Owen Kretschmer (S) d. Matt DePasque  9-5
120: Nick Pepe (S) d. Cole Ceneri  6-2
126: Matt Barnett (S) d. Anthony Tudda  10-8 SV
132: James Murdoch (C) d. Gianni Bennett  8-6
138: Mike Racanelli (S) p. Mohammed Abualhuda  3:33
145: Mohammed Farhan (C) by forfeit