Geneseo opened the dual meet season with wins against Ottawa and Rock Island and won the Rockford Giardini Invitational.

Geneseo opened the dual meet season with wins against Ottawa and Rock Island and won the Rockford Giardini Invitational.

Geneseo at Rock Island

The Maple Leafs opened the season with a 46-23 victory against the Rocks in the season opener.

Geneseo strung together 19 points to take a 31-19 lead to nab their first win of the season, in Rock Island, on Nov. 29.

Jayden Erdman started the Maple Leafs’ run with a pin in 3:36 at 152 pounds to tie the score at 19, and Josh Decker followed with a win by injury default at 160 pounds.

Andrew Rizzo won by major decision at 138 pounds, and Clay DeBaillie won the 113-pound match by pin in 4:52.

The Leafs’ Logan Tuggle earned a 12-9 victory by decision at 126 pounds, and Joe Stohl nabbed a win by decision at 220.

Ottawa at Geneseo

Sometimes a person’s face can tell the whole story.

At the end of the night, Joe Stohl’s face answered everything anyone needed to know about the Maple Leafs’ match against Ottawa, on Nov. 30.

Geneseo battled their way to a 42-20 victory in its first Northern Illinois Big 12 test winning 9-of-14 contested matches.

With a cut on his forehead, Geneseo’s Stohl had to fight through a slow start and multiple stoppages in his bout.

However, Stohl and the rest of the Maple Leafs just continued to battle no matter the odds.

“You worry about that early in the season,” Geneseo Coach Jon Murray said. “If they are going to have that grit. It usually comes with a little bit more seasoning, but they’ve got it.”

After sustaining the cut to his forehead in the first period, Geneseo’s Stohl had to have his head dressed and bandaged like a headband to continue the bout.

A senior, Stohl found the whole thing to just be a minor inconvenience.

“It’s just blood,” said Stohl who’s face had dried blood drawn on his cheeks like war paint following the match. “Coach Murray tells us to stay mentally tough. You stay mentally tough you can win any match.”

After trailing early, Stohl came roaring back to win an 11-6 decision at 220 pounds.

“He was ready for battle,” Murray said. “I told him this match was going to go into some deep dark places, but you are going to come out on top. He loved that challenge, which you can tell with his war paint. I love that grit about him.”

It looked like Geneseo’s Billy Blaser had no way out in the 285-pound match after Ottawa’s Cameron Vernoy had him nearly pinned in the first period.

Blaser kept churning his legs and was able to shimmy his way out of trouble to extend the match to the second round.

A junior, Blaser owned the second period and finished the match with a pin in 4:42.

Blaser thinks the never- quit identity of the Maple Leafs will give them an edge in duals.

“How we’ve been training in the room correlates with that a lot,” Blaser said. “We keep training to never give up and that showed. I think if we keep training hard we will keep finding success.”

Decker opened the dual with a quick pin in 34 seconds at 160 pounds, and Heath Henderson won the 170-pound match by pin in 4:16.

The Leafs’ Jack Morrell tacked on a quick pin in 47 seconds at 145 pounds, and Rizzo beat the clock to win by pin at 138 pounds in 5:55.

The pin by Rizzo gave Geneseo a 33-20 lead to extinguish any chance of an Ottawa comeback.

Geneseo’s Luke Henkhaus won the 120-pound match by decision (6-2), and Erdman won the 152-pound match by decision (7-5).

GHS’ Ethan McKelvain won the 195-pound match by decision (10-7).

Rockford East Quad

The Maple Leafs won a pair of matches at the Rockford East Quad, on Dec. 1.

GHS defeated Belvidere with a nearly perfect team score of 74-6, and the Leafs added a 60-12 victory over host Rockford East.

Against Belvidere, Rizzo won by decision 11-6 at 138 pounds.

Geneseo’s Erdman added a win by decision with a 10-4 victory, and Blaser made quick work of the 285-pound match winning by pin in 27 seconds.

Against Rockford East, Geneseo stormed its way to a 49-0 advantage.

Rizzo led off the match will a pin to win the 138-pound match, and Morrell won by pin in 15 seconds.

Erdman notched a pin in 1:57 at 152 pounds, and Decker finished off a pin at 160 pounds in 19 seconds.

Henderson came through with a pin at 170 pounds in 4:41, and Eli Allen won by major decision 13-3 at 182 pounds.

Stohl nabbed a win by pin in 220 pounds in 4:48, and Blaser earned a win by decision 3-1 at 285 pounds.

Henkhaus captured a win by pin at 120 pounds in 3:29, and Tuggle came through with a pin in 3:10 at 126 pounds.

Rockford East Giardini Invitational

Geneseo’s Blaser and Rizzo each earned individual championship titles, and the Maple Leafs brought home the team title.

Blaser won the 285 crown with three pins in the tournament, including a pin in 5:23 in the title bout.

Rizzo won the 138 title with a 5-2 win by decision to improve to 5-0 on the season.

Geneseo (199) held on for the team title over runner-up LaSalle-Peru (182.5) among a 13-team field, at Rockford East High School, on Dec. 2.

GHS’ McKelvain finished runner-up at 195 pounds, and Henkhaus finished second at 120 pounds.

DeBaillie came in second at 113 pounds, and Stohl finished the 220-pound bracket in third place with a 3-1 decision.

Morrell won the third-place match at 145 pounds with a pin in 1:23, and Liam Barlow finished in third at 106 pounds after a win by pin in 2:47.

Geneseo’s Tuggle earned fifth with a 3-2 win by decision at 126 pounds, and Decker claimed fifth with a win by pin at 160 pounds in 5:49.

Henderson captured fifth with a 9-3 decision at 170 pounds, and Erdman finished sixth at 152 pounds.

Geneseo’s Allen finished sixth at 182 pounds.

Geneseo’s next matches will be at the LaSalle-Peru Quad, on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.