Nation Ford’s Steven Johnson, top, wrestles Catawba Ridge’s Sean Barstad at 152-pounds during a match Saturday at Nation Ford.

The Nation Ford Falcons wrestling team stayed undefeated on the season after ripping through Westwood and rallying to beat Catawba Ridge.

At 3-0 on the season, the Falcons secured a 38-33 win over Catawba Ridge in a high contested match.

“It is better to be on the side of a close win than a close loss,” said Nation Ford head coach Tony Forte. “Some of our younger guys made mistakes. Some of these younger guys we have got to get them right and find ways to win.”

The lead changed hands four times, as Catawba Ridge controlled the match in the early going. The Copperheads opened the match at 120-pounds getting an 8-2 decision with a win from Connor Stukitz. They added to their lead with Jake Kees getting a third period pin to go up 9-0.

Nation Ford got on the board with a Catawba Ridge forfeit at 132-pounds giving Ja’Derrick Foster the win, but turned around and had a forfeit of their own at 138-pounds giving the Copperheads’ Jackson Rozelle the win.

The rally for the Falcons started at 145-pounds with Caden Brandenburg getting a 21-6 tech fall and then Steven Johnson gave Nation Ford their first lead at 17-15 with a first period pin at 152-pounds. Isaac Nivens got a pin at 160-pounds to make it 23-15.

Catawba Ridge rallied with Forrest Rozelle getting a pin at 170-pounds in the second period, but the two teams kept trading wins as Ryan deLeon got a pin at 182-pounds in the first period. The Copperheads won the two matches, one by forfeit at 195-pounds from Beau Nicoll, and then at 220-pounds with a second period pin from R.J. Lincoln to put them back in front 33-29.

At heavyweight, Alan Minarro got a 3-0 decision for Nation Ford to close that gap as the match went back to the lower weight classes. Neither team had a wrestler at 106-pounds, and Mitchell Ladamus clinched a win for Nation Ford at 113-pounds after getting a forfeit victory because the Copperheads didn’t have a 113-pound wrestler.

“We had it,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Scooter Weathers. “We got big wins at 120 and 126. We just had a couple wrestlers get in their own way.”

Earlier in the day, Nation Ford beat Westwood 60-24. Getting wins for the Falcons in the match was Ladamus (113), Dalton Curtsinger (120), Hanson Nguyen (126), Brandenburg (145), Johnson (152), Nivens (160), deLeon (182), Clayton Rygol (220) and Minarro (hwt).

Catawba Ridge beat Westwood 41-30 and are now 3-3 on the season. Winning for the Copperheads against Westwood was Stukitz (120), Kees (126), Levi Jones (145), Rozelle (160), Nate Teel (182), Lincoln (195), and Tony Atkins (hwt).

Both Catawba Ridge and Nation Ford are scheduled to be a part of a tri-match Jan. 20 at South Pointe.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

Nation Ford’s Clayton Rygol, left, and Catawba Ridge’s R.J. Lincoln look for an advantage over each other at 220-pounds during their match.