By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Quincy High School sophomore wrestler David Baze had to turn to his other senses because he couldn't trust his eyesight.
With his 285-pound match against Fort Madison's Trenton Wellendorf tied in the third period Monday night, Baze's vision was impaired when Wellendorf nudged Baze's headgear over his eyes.
Challenged with the task of trying to earn a escape blind, Baze fought to his feet to earn his first career varsity win Monday at the QHS gym.
After he stood up to earn an escape with 32 seconds remaining, Baze followed it with a takedown to earn a 5-2 victory. His win was the fifth of the Blue Devils' six straight victories to start the meet in Quincy's 43-23 dual victory.
"It wasn't that hard," Baze said of getting back to his feet. "I was trying to figure out where he was at, and I couldn't see where he was. I was just going off feeling."
Baze took a 2-0 lead in the second period on a reversal, before Wellendorf evened the match with a takedown early in the third period. Both wrestlers appeared exhausted during the final minute.
Baze and Wellendorf were locked near the edge of the circle when Baze wriggled free.
"I was more worried about getting on my belly so I didn't roll to my back and give him points. After that, I was trying to get up for one," Baze said. "I was just trying to take him down and get my two and keep working from there and try to pin him."
Quincy wrestling coach Phil Neally was proud of Baze's persistence.
"David really stepped it up," Neally said. "David's been at practice and has been working hard at staying after it. He's not going to be really fancy on his feet. He's going to do basic moves, look to do snap-downs and work off the bottom. … We have an 185-pound dummy, he spends at least 30 to 35 minutes a day just throwing that thing around in practice."
Dakota Downs (170 pounds), Logan Hagerbaumer (182), Calvin Cookson (195), Brody Francis (220) and Trevor Schutte (106) picked up pins for Quincy (3-1) to start the match. The meet opened at 170, where Downs pinned Dillon Charonneau in 2:49.
"I just wanted to get our there and get back on the mat in front of the home crowd, and I was the first one to wrestle and I wanted to start off with a pin," Downs said. "I wanted to keep taking him down. I wanted to get a good workout."
Without Matt Ballard, who wrestles at 220, Neally challenged guys to move up in the lineup. He was pleasantly surprised with the results.
"I think it definitely helps those guys, because our go-getters are our lower weight class guys," Neal said. "Our upper weights stepped it up for the team today. Brody Francis, he weights 187 pounds, bumped up to 220. Calvin Cookson stepped in and wrestled 195. He weighs 180 pounds."
Michael Peters (126), Parker Schutte (152) and Josh Culp (160) also won for the Blue Devils.
Downs wants to see Quincy maintain this level of intensity.
"Usually Fort Madison is a good team," Downs said. "The way we came out tonight is the way we should always come out in meets and tournaments."