STOCKTON — Escalon head coach Derek Scott knew going into the weekend how close a finals showdown against Calaveras would be.
Yet knowing is only half the battle.
The Cougars led Saturday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 team duals final 30-25 with two matches to go, needing only to win one to win the title. But after a wild turn of events in one match and a Calaveras pin in the other, it was the Redskins who walked away from Lincoln High School in Stockton as Division 5 champions.
"It was a good dual," said Scott. "It was exactly what I thought it would be. Very, very even."
What happened at 106 pounds was every bit the definition of just that.
Escalon's Kyle Jimenez was leading Calaveras' Tyler Chavez 12-11 with 15 seconds to go in the match. With so much riding on it, both teams were full of energy and cheering for their own.
"We had (Chavez) flat on his belly with his legs in," said Scott. "Basically, the match was over."
That's when the referee stopped the match to go over the score with the scorer's table, as well as tell Escalon that they were being too rowdy and needed to calm down.
"He said that we were too excited and told us to sit down. That gave the guy a restart to reverse us and win the match. I was very disappointed with the restart."
Calaveras would get a pin in the final match at 113 pounds and go on to win 34-30.
"The 106 pound match was by far the most exciting match of the day. There were a ton of momentum swings. Twice we could've had a pin or a reversal and those close calls just didn't go our way," Scott said.
DIVISION 4 The final team scores show that Oakdale plowed through its competition Saturday en route to a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV team title, but according to Mustangs head coach Brian Stevens, the match-by-match scoresheets say otherwise.
"The Los Banos team actually did a really good job," he said. "They were tough. They lost a lot of close matches."
Oakdale rested with a first-round bye before breezing past Cosumnes Oaks in the semifinals, 64-4. That put them in a title showdown with Western Athletic Conference champion Los Banos, which they easily, 52-13.
At least, the score made it look easy.
"I want give (Los Banos) a lot of credit," said Stevens. "They came out hard and wrestled hard. That's one of the more tougher matches we've had in a while. The score was lopsided, but in reality, there were a lot of close matches."
DIVISION 6 Mariposa and Waterford got one more opportunity Saturday to prove which Southern League team was stronger, and Mariposa stood its ground.
The Grizzlies defeated Encina 60-12 to reach the final against Waterford, which had disposed of Vacaville Christian 48-36, then defended their Southern League title once more against the league runner-up by winning 37-31 to take home the crown.