Last season was a rough one for Toby Shaffer and James Yohe, a pair of Spring Grove wrestlers.

Shaffer spent most of his freshman season wrestling up a couple of weight classes and getting beat on by bigger, stronger wrestlers. Meanwhile, Yohe never even got on the mat, sidelined by a knee injury.

But those experiences must feel like a lifetime ago for both Rocket grapplers, especially after their performances Tuesday night at New Oxford.

Each turned in falls for vital bonus points during Spring Grove's 37-21 road victory against the Colonials in a battle of Division I unbeatens.

Shaffer shocked the home crowd by climbing out of an 8-2 hole to deck Andrew Brehm in their 119-pound bout. Later on, it was Yohe's 31-second fall over Shawn Jacoby in the 189-pound weight class that clinched the Rocket win, the 13th straight to open the season and fourth consecutive league win.

Tony Miller, the Spring Grove head coach, was obviously happy but knows there's more work to be done.

"That's a great win, but it's still early in the season," he said. "New Oxford is a quality program. It's a nice win for us."

Shaffer's win had to be the nicest of the nine recorded by Rocket wrestlers.

Brehm hit for three takedowns and a pair of back points to open that big lead. But Shaffer (16-5) chose bottom for the second period and, after getting three back points, sunk in a very tight half-nelson that the Colonial junior couldn't get out of.


The pin came 44 seconds into the second period.

Despite the deficit, the Rocket sophomore tried to maintain confidence and then made sure he took advantage of anything he could get.

"I knew I had to try to keep from losing my head. I knew I would be able to beat him," he said. "Once I got the half, I was trying to squeeze hard and get it right the first time because you might not get a second chance."

Shaffer moved up a weight class, giving New Oxford standout Jordan Conaway a forfeit at 112. That was something New Oxford coach (and Jordan's dad) Dave Conaway didn't anticipate.

"I worked seven or eight hours on lineups. I didn't think they were going to bump up," he said.

Shaffer's win started a string of four straight Rocket wins that stretched the lead to 19-9.

New Oxford (4-1, 7-3) cut into the deficit with a pin by Jared Hagerman (140) and a decision by Kyle Dayhoff at 145 when Dayhoff escaped from Trey Duncan at the final buzzer to earn a 3-2 win.

The Wisner brothers got Spring Grove back on track with a pair of decisions by Dylan (152) and Logen (160).

At 189, Yohe (18-4) wasted little time, putting Shawn Jacoby on his back quickly and then, after a bit of readjusting his weight, clamped down on Jacoby to earn the fall that brought a roar from Rocket fans.

Miller was not surprised by Yohe's finishing touch to the win.

"Jimmy's a senior. He's been around a lot; he's been up (on varsity) since he was a freshman. He's our quiet giant. He doesn't talk much," he said.

Spring Grove also got a pin from Neal Grudi (215) and a major decision from Jake Verheyen (125) as well as a come-from-behind, 5-3 overtime win at 103 by Derek Carlisle, who recorded the winning takedown 23.2 into the extra period.