Forrest Kimbrell stood idle, trying to catch a few short gasps of air before overtime began.
There was no resting for his coach, though. Bill Damude instead took the time as an opportunity to refocus his Beaufort High School wrestler before the senior returned to the mat.
"Right before the overtime period started," Damude recalled, "I looked Forrest in the eyes and said, 'You went 152 for this match. Period. Go get it done.' "
Kimbrell plans on wrestling in the 145-pound weight class next weekend at the Region 8-AAAA championship in the hopes of making another state title run. The senior knows the competition likely will be stiffer there, which is why he sought to take on Bluffton's Mike Meyerink at 152 on Saturday in the Beaufort County Wrestling Championships in preparation for those difficult matches.
"I wanted to get a good match in before (next weekend), and 145 is going to be tough at state," Kimbrell said. " ... I knew Mike Meyerink had been wrestling at 152 and wanted a good pick-up match."
He got what he bargained for. Kimbrell's overtime takedown lifted him to a grueling 8-6 win over Meyerink and in turn helped Beaufort High walk away with the county title after claiming seven individual champions in the event at Bluffton High School.
"That's just Forrest's character," Damude said. "He wants the tough competition. It doesn't matter to him."
Leading by two with time winding down, the Beaufort High wrestler got on top of Meyerink in the hopes of ending things there. The top has always been his his forte, Kimbrell said.
Instead, Meyerink picked up the reversal to extend the match another period. It was there that he got around Kimbrell's ankle and took hold of his leg. Kimbrell managed to scramble out of it before picking up the victory with a takedown.
"It feels great," Kimbrell said. "The team is coming off really big wins and we think we'll be big state contenders this year."
The championship was the second in as many weekends for the Eagles, who also walked away with the Coach Trap Memorial Tournament title last Saturday at Battery Creek. This one ended in more dramatic fashion, as Beaufort High was forced to stave off the rival Bobcats until the very end.
The Eagles finished with 190 points and Bluffton had 170.5. The two teams wrestled in the finals at seven different weight clases, with Beaufort High coming on top in five of those. Hilton Head Island High (107), Battery Creek (91) and Whale Branch Early College High School (43) rounded out the team totals.
"We wrestled Beaufort at the dual meet and we went down to the last match," Bluffton coach John Hollman said. "We felt we truly had a chance to try and knock them off. They're a great team and they're going to make a lot of noise in the playoffs. They're really loaded."
The Bobcats finished with three county champions while Hilton Head High took home two. Battery Creek and Whale Branch each left with one apiece.
"For the most part, the teams down here are well-coached, they know how to scrap, they know how to wrestle and they know how to get after it," Hollman said. "To wrestle in this county and be able to say say, 'Hey, you're the best wrestler in Beaufort County, South Carolina,' it's no small accomplishment."
Beaufort High's Jake Sharp (106), Michael Holmes (145), Eric Blakely (170), Codrian Smalls (182), Clint Wright (195) and Tyler Wilson (220) joined Kimbrell as individual champions.
Bluffton saw Levi Joly (113), Talon Seitz (126) and Austin Farmer (138) all earn championships, while HIlton Head High took home victories from Brock Massey (120) and Label Lewis (132). Battery Creek's DeAndre Johnson (160) and Whale Branch's Max Ford (285) rounded out the title winners.
The wins give each wrestler momentum heading into next week's region championships. But no one, however, left with more steam than the Eagles.
"We've done well this year in tournaments," Damude said. "Hopefully we'll continue to do well. ... Hopefully, we can just keep the momentum going."
Beaufort County Wrestling Championships
Saturday, at Bluffton High School
1. Beaufort High 190
2. Bluffton 170.5
3. HIlton Head High 107
4. Battery Creek 91
5. Whale Branch 43
106: 1. Jake Sharpe (BFT), 2. Nick Stead (BLF), 3. Jose Cuevas (BC), 4. Jayhill Jones (WB)
113: 1. Levi Joly (BLF), 2. Tyler Fick (HHH), 3. Chris Kennedy (BC), 4. Chris Conn (WB)
120: 1. Brock Massey (HHH), 2. Eddie Salvador (BLF), 3. Mike Pirozzi (BFT), 4. Tislen Williams (WB)
126: 1. Talon Seitz (BLF), 2. William Valentin (BFT), 3. Jimmy Sanchez (BC), 4. Mark Entrup (HHH)
132: 1. Label Lewis (HHH), 2. Colin Placke (BLF), 3. Brandon Gray (BC), 4. David Derepentigny (BFT)
138: 1. Austin Farmer (BLF), 2. Connor Gruel (BFT), 3. Hunter Massey (HHH), 4. Lamar Washington (WB)
145: 1. Michael Holmes (BFT), 2. Alex Waddell (BLF), 3. Porter Mahan (BC), 4. Jose Gomez (HHH)
152: 1. Forrest Kimbrell (BFT), 2. Mike Meyerink (BLF), 3. C.J. Tassone (HHH)
160: 1. DeAndre Johnson (BC), 2. Trey Arant (BFT), 3. Harry Chirinos (BLF), 4. Aaron Facenda (HHH)
170: 1. Eric Blakely (BFT), 2. Martin Duane (HHH), 3. Brayden Smith (BC), 4. Andres Neva (BLF)
182: 1. Codrian Smalls (BFT), 2. Kyle Waddell (BLF), 3. Zane Braden (HHH)
195: 1. Clint Wright (BFT), 2. Isaiah Sloan (BC), 3. Trey Nelson (WB), 4. J.C. Graham (HHH)
220: 1. Tyler Wilson (BFT), 2. Edgar Prada (BLF)
285: 1. Max Ford (WB), 2. Kentrell Seabrook (BFT), 3. Jonathan Wright (BC), 4. Danny Hart (BLF)