BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
FRANKLIN - With Greeneville's state championship hopes on the line, Jon Boatman did what he had done all tournament - he pinned his opponent, and he did it quickly.
Boatman needed just 57 seconds to get the six-point win over Pigeon Forge's Jacob Ruiter Saturday night, capping a furious Greeneville rally to give the Devils a 36-34 victory over Pigeon Forge for the Class A/AA state duals championship.
It marked Boatman's third pin in as many matches at the state tournament, all of which came in less than a minute.
"There is nobody in the state of Tennessee that I would have rather walking on the mate for me than Jon Boatman," Greeneville head coach Randy Shelton said. "He's a great kid, he's a competitor, he knew what he had to do, and in his head there was no excuse not to do it. He was going to get that pin."
It marked Greeneville's first-ever state duals championship. For Pigeon Forge, it was their third consecutive runner-up finish at state.
"It feels absolutely incredible," Shelton said. "We've come second, third, seventh, fourth...you name it we've placed there, but never in first. This is the one and it's a wonderful feeling."
The Greene Devils were down 34-30 going into Boatman's match (113 lbs.) and the junior needed a pin or a tech-fall to rally his team. For Boatman, there was only one option.
"I either had to get a tech or a pin, and I wasn't going
to get a tech," Boatman said. "I was going all the way."
From the onset, Boatman gained the advantage over Ruiter in the 53-second match and quickly had is shoulders on the mat. Ruiter arched his back and rolled, trying to avoid the pin.
Boatman had Ruiter flat as the Greeneville sideline stood silent in anticipation for what must have seemed an eternity. But in reality, it was about 10 seconds before the official struck the mat and awarded the Greene Devils the title.
"I did not want to get second," Boatman said. "I got second in the individual last year and I didn't want to do that again. It feels real good to be a team state champion."
The match started far from ideal for the Greene Devils as they quickly fell behind 27-3. The pins came in quick succession for Pigeon Forge as they accumulated four pins through the first six matches.
The Tigers also picked up a decision victory in the 126 lb. class. The only win for Greeneville in the first six weight classes came on a 4-0 decision by Justin Carlson at 138 lbs.
"They knew they had a place in there where they were going to make a run and I knew I had a place where we were going to make a run," Shelton said. "We had some guys step up huge."
Jared Bond (160) got the momentum rolling for Greeneville and from that point it was hard to stop. Bond powered through a marathon match with the Tiger's Trevor Reed that went into triple overtime before Bond literally hung on for an 8-7 decision.
Through three rounds Bond was tied at 5-5 with Reed. In a sudden death overtime, neither one could muster a point.
In the first round of the second overtime, Bond reversed out of Reed's grasp for a 7-5 advantage but in the second round of overtime, Reed did the same.
The two went into an ultimate overtime period where Bond started on top and just had to maintain his hold on Reed to come away victorious.
Marshall Brown (185) and Walker Brown (170) won the next two matches by forfeit, which were huge in the Greene Devils closing the gap. After the pair of forfeits, the Tigers held a 27-18 advantage.
Zach Reeves (195) came out aggressive and earned a pin over Nathan Breeden to close the gap to three points.
In the next match, freshman Bryson Knight's performance was huge. Knight (220) was pinned and lost by major decision in his previous two matches of the tournament, but when it mattered most he stepped up. The Greeneville freshman jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first round and gave the Greene Devils a 30-27 lead with a second-round pin.
"Bryson Knight stepped up huge," Shelton said. "Bryson is a freshman and he went out there and just got his job absolutely done."
Pigeon Forge's Nicholas Hiley (285) won the heavy weight matchup with a 6-2 decision to tie the match at 30-30.
With two matches to go and Boatman slotted to finish, Atlas Fagundes (106) knew all he had to do was to not get pinned. Fagundes played it safe and did all he could to stay off his back. The senior gave his opponent, Matthew Keita, three points for stalling but he refused to go down. Keita won the match 12-0 and picked up four team points, but he did not get the pin.