Desert Vista assistant Brian Popadak celebrates Jordan Martinez pin to finish in fifth place in the Division I 120-pound weight class.

(Jason Skoda/AFN)

PRESCOTT VALLEY – Chad Porter looked at the scoreboard, and it didn’t exactly compute.

The Desert Vista 195-pound wrestler was trailing in the third period, and that’s not a common occurrence for the two-time state champion.

“He couldn’t figure out how he was losing,” Thunder coach David Gonzales said. “He had to dig deep and pull that one out.”

He managed to beat Andres Gonzalez of Westwood 7-5 in sudden death in the Division I quarterfinals on Friday.

Saturday went a lot smoother.

The senior won by a technical fall in the semifinals and pinned Mountain View’s Jeremiah Hollen in 29 seconds in the championship match.

“That wasn’t me, and I wasn’t going to let it happen again,” Porter said. “It was a wake-up call and I wanted to finish strong.”

He became the program’s third multiple champion and helped the Thunder to a fourth-place finish in the team standings.

“We knew he had the opportunity to be good coming from a wrestling family,” Gonzales said. “Had has a little bit of both his brothers in him. He’s tough and mean, and he is a hard worker. Chad meshed it all together and made it work.”

The Thunder had five other placers as heavyweight Brett Johnson and Brendan Gil (182) were fourth, while Jordan Martinez (120) and Tariq Hornbuckle (113) finished fifth and Ernie del Rio (106) came in sixth.

Martinez was hobbled all year with what is believed to be a torn meniscus in his left knee, but he toughed it out even though he was limited.

“I wasn’t going to let it stop me,” Martinez said. “If I had surgery, I would have missed the whole year. I just wrestled through, and I ended finishing better than last year (sixth). That’s all I wanted.”

Mountain Pointe’s Jacob Rasmussen was the Pride’s lone placer as the senior 160-pounder matched last year’s placement of fifth place.

Not many would have predicted he would have been a two-time state placer four seasons ago, but twice he walked out of the PVEC with a medal.

“It was important to win that last match,” said Rasmussen, who was trailing 9-3 before getting pin on a headlock. “I put in a lot of work to earn this, and I didn’t want it to end with a loss.”

 – Contact writer Jason Skoda at 480-898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.

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