Genco was put in a similar situation against Moline after five consecutive wins had turned a 12-10 Clinton lead into a 34-12 deficit.
Once again he made quick work of his opponent — pinning Omar Morales in 28 seconds — but this time the hole was too deep for Clinton to escape.
The River Kings wrestled without returning starters Curtis Ilg, who hasn’t recovered from a shoulder injury, at 138 and state placewinner Dillion Chase, who didn’t make weight, at 170. Although their replacements — along with the other newcomers to the lineup — had mixed success, Lueders saw positives there, too.
• Luke Larkin used an escape and takedown in the final 10 seconds to beat United Township’s Preston Swanson 8-6 at 170.
• Freshman Mitch Dann reversed UT’s El Moo to his back for a pin in their match at 138.
• Freshman 285-pounder Tyler Clark limited Northern Iowa recruit Adarios Jones of Moline to a pair of takedowns for the first two-plus periods before Jones put the River King on his back for a fall with just 18 seconds left in their bout.
“It was Luke’s first match. He runs all day and makes weight and doesn’t quit. The same with Mitch Dann,” Lueders said. “And I told Tyler, ‘I don’t know if you realize it, but you were going 4-0 with the number two guy in the nation. That’s a bright spot.”
Their teammates were impressed.
“There’s definitely a difference between the guys who stepped in tonight, but the thing is they all battled,” Caldwell said. “Luke Larkin comes up with a big win in the first dual. He just had some guts. Mitch Dann stepping in, being a freshman, he comes out and gets a win. It’s a really good feeling seeing younger kids stepping up and filling the shoes of some other kids.