MURRELLS INLET -- The day after the Super Bowl, St. James senior Nuji Holmes took a play out of the Green Bay Packers' playbook.
And even though Holmes' St. James Jump into the student section amounted to the Sharks' heavyweight getting very little air, no one was about to criticize his ability to clear the guard rail.
Holmes pinned Battery Creek High School's David Ratliff in the next-to-last match of Monday's second-round match in the Class 3-A wrestling playoffs, locking in the Sharks' eventual 35-30 victory and sending a small home crowd into a frenzy.
Holmes' jump into his classmates only accentuated his huge win.
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"Coach doesn't like me doing it," Holmes said of his celebration, "but I just had to go over there."
Holmes, who is ranked third in Class 3-A at 285 pounds, had been kept at bay through the first two periods of his match against second-ranked Ratliff, who won the season's first matchup earlier this year and led 1-0 after two periods in the rematch. But about 30 seconds into the final period, Holmes got his opponent to the ground and eventually pinned him.
It finished off what was a successful Sharks run in four of the five highest weight classes, and ended Battery Creek's season with a 25-17 record.
Battery Creek led 21-18 prior to St. James 160-pounder Gregg Johnsen's decision against Byron Houston. Johnsen won 5-4 when Houston was called for grabbing his knee pad with five seconds left.
At 171 pounds, Taylor Schneider recorded a 12-6 decision over Battery Creek's Dylan King. Kalin Jones recorded a technical fall over Marquise Givens at 189 before Austin Brown fell to Bear Childers at 215.
Those bigger wrestlers were part of the consistency that was otherwise absent in the match, thanks in part to some last-minute changes from Battery Creek. Some of the pre-match check-ins looked like a virtual chess match, as the Dolphins' coaching staff went with different wrestlers at a handful of weight classes than they used in the teams' meeting earlier this year.
"We knew they were going to bring everything they had," St. James coach Matt Anderson said. "They're tough. We know that in wrestling, one match could be a 12-point swing."
The victory sets up St. James for a match against Chapin in Wednesay's Lower State championship match. The Eagles advanced by beating Hilton Head High 58-3.
ST. JAMES 35, BATTERY CREEK 30
Note: Match started at 112 pounds.
103: Chris Bockelman (BC) pinned Tyler Young, first period.
112: Jimmy Sanchez (BC) pinned Alex Nielsen, first period.
119: Kyle Tecco (SJ) dec. Joey Kasper-Little, 9-7.
125: Josh Green (BC) major dec. Eric Perry, 16-7.
130: Jamie Bolduc (SJ) pinned Wayne Cook, first period.
135: Mason Elliot (SJ) dec. Delmar Sanders, 10-3.
140: DeShawn Smalls (BC) tech. fall Michael LaPresto, 19-3.
145: Van Slooten (SJ) won by forfeit.
152: Maurice Lamb (BC) pinned Nick Juretic, first period.
160: Gregg Johnsen (SJ) dec. Byron Houston, 5-4.
171: Taylor Schneider (SJ) dec. Dylan King, 12-6.
189: Kalin Jones (SJ) tech. fall Marquise Givens, 16-1.
215: Bear Childers (BC) dec. Austin Brown, 3-1.
285: Nuji Holmes (SJ) pinned David Ratliff, third period.