KALAMAZOO — Whitehall trailed by seven at one time in the match, but finished strong to pull out a tight 39-28 victory over St. Joseph in the MHSAA Division 3 state quarterfinal.
St. Joseph went up, 6-0 to start the night, but the Vikings scored the next 15 points.
Nicholas Blanchard got things started with a 5-1 decision over Matthew Morris at 189 pounds.
Ira Jenkins followed with a pin over Elijah Tuner in 51 seconds at 215 and Shane Cook won by a fall in 2:56 over Nathan Sparkman to send the Vikings into a 15-6 lead.
Dylan Osborn picked up a 7-5 overtime decision over Noah Dahlke, an individual state qualifier, at 112 pounds to give the Vikings an 18-9 lead.
“I was really proud of Dylan,” Zeerip (Whitehall coach) said. “He was behind, but came back and pushed it into overtime.
“(Aiden) Weiler showed a lot of guts. He was up 7-0 and the guy came back on him, but he finished it out. Overall, I was really proud of the seniors.”
St. Joseph then won the next four matches to put the Vikings in a 28-18 hole.
Aiden Weiler snapped the St. Joseph streak with an 8-4 decision over Gavin Keller. It was the start of a four-match win streak for the Vikings that lifted them to the win.
Max Brown won by a forfeit at 145, Alec Pruett pinned Eian Nelson in 1:11 at 152 and Wyatt Jenkins won by a fall in 1:08 over Yazan Farhan at 160.
The Vikings improved to 27-0 and will next wrestle Goodrich at noon Saturday in the semifinal.