PAYSON Since dropping a weight class to start the new year, Payson Lion senior Taggart Miller has been on a tear.
Now wrestling at 152 pounds Miller has won his last eight matches including a first round pin over Mountain View's Ben Lockwood as the Lions crushed the Bruins in Region 7 wrestling action, 58-20.
It wasn't that Miller was all that bad at 160 pounds where earlier in the season he placed second at the prestigious Viewmont Invitational, but Miller enjoys his new weight class.
"I like it a lot better (at 152 pounds). The guys I wrestle are not as strong, they're not as big. At Viewmont I weighed in at 153 pounds and was wrestling 160 (pounds)."
Miller is also enjoying the success his fellow Lions are having on the mat. "I liked what happened tonight. We'll be good. We definitely have a good chance at state."
What makes Payson a potential state-title contender is a strong line-up in the middle weights where Payson has depth and some options. Many of the Lion wrestlers can go up or down a weight as needed and the Lions have some very good JV wrestlers that will score points at the region and state meets.
"We're beginning to put our best lineup on the mat," said Payson head coach Chris Loveless. "We wrestled very well tonight."
The Lions, now 3-0 in Region 7 duals, set their sights on the Tournament of Champions in Vernal this weekend.
On senior night Payson came out strong and never looked back. They got a forfeit victory at 160 pounds by Brady Loveless and then Hesston Parkin (171 pounds) and Norman Adams (189) earned a technical fall and pin, respectively, to go up 17-0.
The Bruins temporarily halted the Lion momentum as Garrett Schaerrer (215) and Kyle Rodda (285) earned pins.
When the match turned to the little guys, Payson rolled right along reasserting their dominance as Weston Orton (103) and Tito Ortiz (112) secured wins.
In one of the best matches of the night at 119 pounds, Payson's Brock Brown pinned Mountain View's Jared Frederickson. Frederickson got a early takedown and escape and toward the end of the round Brown secured a takedown to cut Frederickson' lead to 3-2.
In the final round Brown chose neutral and with just over 30 seconds a second stall call on Frederickson tied up the match 3-3. Frederickson then shot a deep double leg and appeared ready to secure the go ahead takedown, but Brown used his momentum against him and executed a lateral drop to takedown and pin the Bruin. With that pin Payson shot ahead 34-12 heading right into the strength of their line-up.
Other Lion winners were Jeremiah Guzman (130), Jace Harmon (135 ), and McCade Ford (140). Bryce Florea (125) and Clay Frost (145) earned victories for Mountain View as Frost beat Colton Cannon 9-5 in a hotly contested bout.
Scorecard: Payson 58 Mountain View 20
103 Pounds --Weston Orton (PA) won by forfeit.
112 Pounds --Tito Ortiz (PA) won by technical fall over Jacob Best 15-0.
119 Pounds --Brock Brown (PA) pinned Jared Frederickson (MV) third period.
125 Pounds --Bryce Florea (MV) won by technical fall over Austin Riding 17-2.
130 Pounds --Jeremiah Guzman (PA) pinned James Barsh (MV) first period.
135 Pounds --Jace Harmon (PA) pinned Zach Taylor (MV) second period.
140 Pounds --McCade Ford (PA) pinned Carter Roberts (MV) second period.
145 Pounds- -Clay Frost (MV) decisions Colton Cannon (PA) 9-5.
152 Pounds --Taggart Miller (PA) pins Ben Lockwood (MV) second period.
160 Pounds --Brady Loveless (PA) wins by forfeit.
171 Pounds --Hesston Parkin (PA) wins by technical fall over Anthony Rowley (MV) 19-4.
189 Pounds --Norman Adams (PA) pins Nick Zollinger (MV) first period.
215 Pounds --Garrett Schaerrer (MV) pins Spencer Smith (PA) first period.
285 Pounds --Kyle Rodda (MV) pins Kenyon Nielson (PA) first period.
Referee --Rick Johnson