By JOSH RIZZO Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Dakota Downs was in a terrible spot.
His match against Mediapolis' Adam Drain had gone to overtime, and Drain had locked into Downs' leg in the center of the mat.
The 170-pound Quincy senior was concerned, but he switched the momentum quickly. He locked his hips in, stepped over Drain and put him to the mat.
With one second remaining, Downs was awarded the pin to win his first Quincy Invitational title Saturday night at the QHS Gym.
"I was pretty worried, because we weren't next to the out of bounds or nothing," Downs said. "I couldn't get out of it, so I just figured I might as well go for it. I went for it, and it got me in the position to put him on his back and pin him."
It was the second time Downs was nearly taken down by Drain, ranked No. 2 at 170 pounds in Class 2A in Iowa. With nearly 40 seconds left in overtime, Downs was saved by the edge of the mat. Drain took Downs to the mat, but he was ruled out of bounds.
Downs (26-1), who pinned Pittsfield's Zach Abney in Saturday morning's semifinals, was chosen as the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
"This is a big, big thing to me," Downs said. "I've been working my whole career to win the Quincy Invite, that's what everyone talks about. I've gotten a fourth place and two second places. My sophomore year, I lost in overtime. That was going through my head, and there were many other things going through my head knowing it was my senior year and I had to do it."
Mediapolis won the team title with 310 points. Quincy finished fourth with 185 and was the highest-finishing local team.
West Hancock's Jack Lucie overcame early anger to win his second consecutive title with a 5-1 win over East Peoria's Casey McWhirter in the 126-pound class. (He won at 113 last year.) Frustrated after being called for fleeing the mat in the first period, Lucie still trailed 1-0 with 35 seconds remaining.
"I just had to get out," Lucie, a junior, said. "I was way too slow off the start. That's why I was a little upset after the match."
In the waning seconds, Lucie scored a reversal and a nearfall to earn the title. The referee slapped the mat for a pin, but it was just after the buzzer.
"I knew I was down and had to get out. I had a quick burst of adrenaline, got up the cradle up and set it in for the win," Lucie said.
"(McWhirter) was definitely strong. He came out a lot faster than I was expecting. I was taken off-guard a little bit and then I wasn't working my shots as much as I wanted to. So those two things were frustrating, but I knew when I got on top that I'd be able to ride him."
West Hancock's Will Lucie (106 pounds), Quincy Notre Dame's Gage Stephens (138) and Jeffrey Haley (195) all finished finished second. Abney finished third.