PENDLETON - It did not take long for the Hermiston wrestling team to assert itself over Pendleton during Wednesday night's dual.
Dylan Olsen started things against Cammeron Rinehart at the 130-pound weight class, taking 3:14 to pin the Bucks' freshman and kick start a 4-0 match winning streak for Hermiston in the opening stages of the meet.
Pendleton would only win three of the 13 matches on the evening, and the Bulldogs took a big 60-12 win against their biggest rival.
"It always feels good beating up Pendleton, I look forward to that every year," Hermiston senior Randy Larson said. "They've beat us up in the past and it felt good to get one back on them."
Larson's match against Micah Olivera (171) was one of the few performances Pendleton coach Fred Phillips was pleased with.
Larson was dominant from the start, picking up nine points in the first two rounds. He constantly attacked Olivera, but could never fully pin the Buckaroo senior, netting a technical fall, good for five points.
"Randy's one of the best kids in the state and one of the best kids in the nation," Phillips said. "Micah fought hard and didn't get pinned. It would have been really easy for him to roll over and just get pinned. I was pretty pleased with the way he fought."
That kind of effort was not evident in each match according to Phillips, who found it disappointing to see so many of his kids give up during their match.
The Bulldogs showed strong nearly one through 14 on the night, picking up seven pins out of their 11 wins.
"We're just a little more solid this year," said Hermiston coach Curt Berger about the difference in the score. "The matchups just happened to be so that their tough guys were matched up with our tough guys. In some of those cases we were just a little bit tougher."
That showed through with some of Pendleton's tougher wrestlers this season. Mike Savage had had plenty of success this year, but went down 15-2 against Bryce McMahon, something Phillips hopes his young wrestler can take and build on.
In other cases, some of Pendleton's freshman athletes found themselves staring at some of the better competition in the state.
Roman Holcomb (103) learned a valuable lesson against Ben Jorgensen who pinned the Bucks' freshman in 1:23.
"It felt good just to go in and get after the guy," Jorgensen said. "It's good to get after him and show what I can do. I have had some tougher matches in the past and it was good to come in here and get the fall. It helps build my confidence."
The Bucks did find ways to get on the board though. Sam Stewart (152) stopped the Hermiston run early, beating Ben Millard in overtime 4-2 with a counter.
They also found surprise wins in Sheehan Barnhart - who went from one win last year to ten this year - and Brandon Bradley who did not know if he would wrestle until Wednesday a couple of hours before the dual began.