Big Red’s Moray takes 2nd at 220

COLUMBUS – It wasn’t the day Steubenville Big Red wrestling hoped for, but it was still one to be proud of Saturday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State University.

The Big Red grapplers put a pair of wrestlers on the podium as all-state with senior Greg Moray finishing as runner-up at 220 pounds and freshman Tariq Wilson finishing sixth at 106 pounds.

Moray’s quest for a state title ended in heartbreaking fashion a with a 5-3 overtime loss to Wauseon’s Zane Krall.

“I think the biggest thing was we had a couple shots we either went out of bounds or we didn’t finish, and when you’re in the state finals you’ve got to be able to finish,” said Big Red head coach Mike Blackburn. “I think Greg wrestled great this weekend. It’s a shame it happened like that.”

Moray held a 3-1 lead at one point in the match, and with a 3-2 lead in the third period, Krall was helped by a referee’s “judgment call”.

“We were called for fleeing the mat,” said Blackburn. “That’s a judgment thing. Greg’s trying not to get taken down so he’s trying to back out of it. Not back out of bounds. That’s just the direction it went.

“You’re not going to give up the takedown. You’re going to try to fight it, which he was. That’s a total judgment call by the official. That’s why you can’t let it come down to calls like that. You’ve got to win it yourself.”

The call tied the score at 3-3 and sent the match to overtime where Krall secured a takedown for the state championship.

Despite the loss the two-time OVAC champions Moray had an outstanding season.

“He’s been dominant every match he’s been in,” said Blackburn. “There wasn’t too many matches he actually went all six minutes. That showed the first three rounds here (in Columbus), I think the closest match he had was 15-6.

“He had a great year, and it’s just a rough way to end it.”

Wilson, a freshman, had a rough Saturday, dropping a pair of matches, but standing on the podium in Columbus as a ninth-grader is still a great accomplishment.

“I think if you look at everyone that placed at 106, what a loaded weight class that was,” said Blackburn. “Same thing (as Moray), it didn’t go exactly the way he wanted, but he had a great weekend. He’s a state placer as a freshman.

“All the way down from our match with Evan Cheek to John Martin, who is a senior. Both matches we should of won could of won, and as a freshman that’s pretty good, and we beat a state champ at one time.

“That just tells you how good, and what kind of kid Tariq is.”