Eagle Valley put Summit wrestling on its heels Thursday night before even sending anyone to the mat.
In the upper weight classes, Ty LaFramboise (182 pounds) Joey Sanchez (195), Andy Armstrong (220) and Xavier Mendoza (285) each received forfeits for the Devils, and without Carlos Lopez on the mat at 106 pounds, Summit gave up that class to Jay Bullock.
That didn't discourage Brayan Daniel and Nick Wittrock, who each made quick work of pinning their opponents, Seth Kuhn at 113 pounds against Daniel and Connor McGillvray at 120 pounds against Wittrock. Later, Eagle Valley's Branden Ehman went down in 1 minute, six seconds to Alex Roque, who made a big step over Ehman's head for the pin.
Eagle Valley returned the favor as Chris Comroe took on Summit's Michael Barton, pinning Barton in 40 seconds.
Then came some tough matches, in which Summit sought to recover its deficit but was unable to, falling to the Devils 66-18.
Alan Roque faced Devil Rafael Gurule in a 132-pound match Roque nearly won, but wasn't able to break the solid stance Gurule took on to remain on his hands and knees. Then, when Roque moved too far forward in an attempt to put Gurule on his back, Gurule took advantage, flipping Roque over and patiently wearing him down for the pin.
At 145 pounds, Davey Madrid took down Brandon Ramirez and Kiefer Kaufman overcame the fight of Parisa Rafie, Summit's sole female, at 152 pounds. Rafie held out against Kaufman, escaping several times before the Eagle Valley wrestler pinned her with 11 seconds left in the first period.
Summit head coach Pete Baker had the choice to wrestle Tyler Blackford at 160 pounds or 170 pounds Thursday night. Sending him out at 170 against Eagle Valley's No. 4-ranked wrestler in the region, Cole Nielsen, who pinned Blackford with 24 seconds left in the third and final period showed Baker he's going to rein in his captain and send him back down to the 160 class at the upcoming regional meet.
"We were on the verge of sending Tyler back to 170s for the regional meet, so we had him wrestle 170s tonight," Baker said, adding that with a win, Blackford would have gone to 170s in regionals and faced fewer ranked wrestlers. Instead, he's going to put the wrestler back at 160.
"He's going to have to create his own fate at 160s at regionals next week," Baker said. "It will come down to heart and skill on the mat. He'll have a better shot at going to state at 160s."
Eagle Valley coach said Nielsen wasn't about to take Blackford for granted, and came to Summit ready to wrestle.
Possibly the best match of the night, aside from Blackford's hard-fought bout with Nielsen, was Wittrock's voluntary face-off against Comroe, who is ranked No. 12 in the state. Wittrock came out on top by points.
"Nick's a good wrestler. Chris is a good wrestler. That (match) sets them up for what we're trying to do here before regionals - tune up for regionals," Eagle Valley coach Ron Beard said.
Baker wasn't disappointed with his team's performance. Eagle Valley traditionally has a strong team, and plenty of depth.
"Since I've been coaching, we haven't beaten Eagle Valley. Not that we can't ... but we give up a lot of forfeits and we need to win. It's a goal of mine to beat them, since they're right over the mountain," Baker said.