BORDER WAR: Madison’s Chris Tingle throws Southwestern’s Harlan Mikesell (above) during their bout at 138 pounds on Wednesday. Tingle eventually pinned Mikesell but not before the Rebel freshman battled him tough. Southwestern’s Zach Liter gets on top of the Cubs’ Tanner Geer (below) in the heavyweight bout. Geer was leading the match but was forced the withdraw after suffering a knee injury, handing Liter the win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
BORDER WAR: Madison’s Chris Tingle throws Southwestern’s Harlan Mikesell (above) during their bout at 138 pounds on Wednesday. Tingle eventually pinned Mikesell but not before the Rebel freshman battled him tough. Southwestern’s Zach Liter gets on top of the Cubs’ Tanner Geer (below) in the heavyweight bout. Geer was leading the match but was forced the withdraw after suffering a knee injury, handing Liter the win. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
A number of forfeits on both sides reduced this year's Battle for the Paddle between Madison and Southwestern wrestling to just five contested bouts Wednesday in Hanover.

Madison won four of the contested matches and got five more victories to roll to a 50-18 win. Two of Southwestern's three wins came via forfeit and the third was due to an injury default.

Other than the knee injury suffered by Madison heavyweight Tanner Geer, the night couldn't have gone much better for the Cubs.

"The injury default is going to hurt us and hopefully he'll be healthy this weekend," Madison coach Tyson Skinner said. "We already have four guys out with injuries and a fifth guy out would hurt. It's hard to give up 30 points and expect to win."

Geer hurt his knee while battling with Southwestern's Zach Liter at 285 pounds. The two were locked in a relatively equal battle when Geer caught his leg under Liter on a move. Geer was leading the match at the time but was unable to finish and Liter was awarded the win.

Liter's victory was Southwestern's lone win on the mat. Cody Holman (113 pounds) and Logan Williams (120) picked up wins by forfeit.

It's been a rough season so far for Southwestern which has had to deal with injuries to both Austin Spray and Matt Hedges among others. As a result, Rebel coach Brandon Brawner has been working with a young group of grapplers that is improving, but still has a way to go.

"Half of the kids that are wrestling are hurt. Austin just got his cast off yesterday. Hopefully we'll get him back this month," Brawner said. "When you've got some injuries and other issues, it'll show on the scoreboard and it showed this evening."

The best match of the day was the final bout that saw Madison's Chris Tingle pin Harlan Mikesell in 3:12 at 138 pounds. It proved to be the rare match that left both coaches happy with the way their wrestler performed.

"I was really impressed with Tingle. We know Harlan because he has worked out with us at Club Madison and he's a tough kid," Skinner said. "I thought Tingle wrestled him well and did what he needed to do."

"Our 138 is just a freshman and he battled a semistate qualifier from last year," Brawner said. "He got stuck there but I was really impressed with the way he did."

Madison's Tanner Young scored a major decision over Zach Abbott at 170 pounds, Alex Moore defeated Noah Schuster 7-3 at 180 and Mitchell Sandlin pinned Jeremiah Butters in 2:43 at 195.

"Alex Moore has been sick all week and this was really his first action in a while," Skinner said. "You could see the rust a little but he did well."

Madison's other wins came via forfeit by Chayce Young (126), Hunter Stivers (145), Cameron Napier (152), Jordan Partee (160), and Marcus Schoonover (220). Both teams forfeited the 106- and 132-pound weight classes.

Both teams return to action on Saturday. Madison will host the annual Nick Shadday Memorial Invitational starting at 9 a.m. Southwestern will compete in the Providence 6-Way beginning at 8 a.m.