If Friday's regular season finale was any indication, the Bakersfield High School wrestling team is in good position to make a run through the postseason.
The Drillers, going into Frontier, opened the night with eight straight wins and topped the Titans 53-7 in the team's final dual match of the season.
Luke Meyer got BHS off to a great start in the opening match. After falling behind 4-0 to Jake Shepard, Combs got on the board with a reversal in the final seconds of the first period. Combs then proceeded to outscored Shepard 8-0 over the final two periods for a 10-4 win.
The final match of the night, featuring two ranked wrestlers, proved to be the highlight, as third-ranked Jarad Priest of Bakersfield executed a two-point escape with 35 seconds remaining to earn a 6-4 win over 11th-ranked Christian Landin.
Landin looked to be on the verge of breaking out of a hold with about 20 seconds remaining, only for Priest to grab onto his leg and keep him on the ground as the clock expired.
Priest fell in a 2-0 hole early and entered the final period still trailing at 4-3. Admitting he was surprised to get off to a slow start, he hopes the strong finish will carry over into next week's Valley Championships.
"Usually I go out there expecting to dominate. So this one was an eye-opener," Priest said. "But it allows me to see what there is to work on. Next week I’ve just got to come back with more intensity."
The Drillers also got pins from Chente Trujillo (195), Justin Darter (220), Johnny Becerra (106), Noah Ozuna (120), Jacob Spears (126) and Jaden Sanchez (160).
Elsewhere, Josiah Hill defeated Jake Andrews 8-2 at 285, Cade Lucio topped Luke Combs 5-0 at 138 and DJ Weimer defeated Ben Combs 7-0 at 152.
It was a businesslike win that mostly satisfied BHS coach Andy Varner, who expects his team will clean up some occasional sloppiness when postseason play begins.
"They did what we asked them to do, and that was to come out here and fight with everything they’ve got and they did that,” Varner said. "The main thing is surviving from week-to-week from here on out."
Jose Landon earned Frontier's first win of the night with a 9-1 win over McKay East at 132. Garrett Fletcher, the No. 9 145-pound wrestler, got the Titans a second win by beating James Juarez 9-2.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to BHS wrestler Luke Meyer as Luke Combs.