EAST ROCKHILL >> After a tough loss to Interboro to start its dual season, the North Penn wrestling team cruised to a 57-21 victory against host Pennridge in the Suburban One League Continental Conference opener for both sides Wednesday night.
The Knights earned six falls and three forfeits to secure the blowout victory, including a quick 12-second fall from Patrick O'Neill.
"It's always good to go out to the mat and get the job done as fast as possible," O'Neill said. "My coach just told me to get out there and get the six points for the team."
Before the match, Pennridge honored Josh Stillings, who as a senior last season won the PIAA Class 3A championship at 182 pounds. Stillings is currently redshirting his freshman season at Drexel University.
Michael Jiminez, a freshman for the Knights, had a good bout with Pennridge's Andrew Minko at 113 pounds.
After a scoreless first period, Jiminez took a 5-0 lead heading into the third period after Minko was called with two locked hands violations.
In the third period, Minko bounced back with a quick takedown and a three-point near fall to tie the match at 5-5.
However, with less than a minute to go, Minko was called with a third locked hands violation, which gave Jiminez two points.
Jiminez capped off the thrilling match with an escape to earn the 8-5 decision.
"I felt excited and nervous when the team was cheering me on towards the end of the match," Jiminez said. "My nerves were really up and I knew that if I lost at the last second, I would've been very disappointed in myself."
The 8-5 decision was also the first career dual meet victory for Jiminez and he will look for many more in the next four years.
North Penn's Eddie Galang capped off the blowout victory with a fall at 1:22 to seal the 57-21 victory.
North Penn head coach Robert Shettsline was thrilled with his team getting the bounce back win after a tough loss to Interboro Tuesday night.
"After last night, I told the guys just wrestle well and learn from your mistakes," Shettsline said. "With this match, the kids definitely looked like they were improving."
"They wanted to show the coaches that they could do it," added Shettsline. "They came out very aggressive tonight."
North Penn and Pennridge return to action during the Christmas break with both teams participating in the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic Dec. 28-29 at Bethlehem Liberty. Day one of the two-day tournament is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m.