LOYSBURG — Following Friday’s dual meet at Northern Bedford, Nathan Gabriel was greeted by a Bedford supporter with a handshake and the words “That was the best match I’ve ever seen you wrestle.”
Gabriel quickly smiled and agreed. His 16-2 major decision over Ian Sherlock in the marquee matchup at 145 pounds kept momentum on the Bisons’ side as they rolled to a 55-24 victory against the Black Panthers.
Gabriel’s victory was part of Bedford’s seven consecutive wins to open the dual, and the visitors added a couple more in toss-up bouts in the upperweights.
“Our guys needed this — we’ve been taking our lumps,” said Bisons’ coach Joel Easter. “We didn’t have a very good Tuesday night (losses to Greater Johnstown and Westmont Hilltop). I just told our kids to compete, and I was really pleased with what I saw.”
Bedford’s Camden Koontz (113) and Jacob Dawson (120) began the meet with forfeit wins, and teammates Hadyn Snavely (126), Mathew Emerick (132), and Kaden Cassidy (138) gave the Bisons a 27-0 lead.
Snavely had two takedowns and a reversal in his 6-1 decision over Lucas Heck, while Emerick pinned Eyziak Cottle and Cassidy moved up a weight and did the same against Case Donaldson.
Northern Bedford coach Brian Dutchcot opted to bump Sherlock to 145 and face Gabriel. The Bedford senior controlled the bout on his feet with four takedowns, including two in the first period which got him out to a 4-1 lead.
Gabriel added a reversal and another takedown in the second period, then took Sherlock down again in the third and scored two sets of back points for the major decision.
“I feel really good (about the win),” said Gabriel. “I felt confident out there and I stayed in good position. I thought I might face him, and I was looking forward to it.”
“We took a shot there to run Ian up to 145 and see what we could do,” said NBC coach Brian Dutchcot. “That one took some wind out of our sails. Ian is usually one of the guys that jumpstarts us.”
At 152, Bedford’s Brayden Koontz gave up an early takedown to Brady Clark, but scored an escape and takedown in the second period before pinning the Panther in 3:39.
That put the Bisons up 37-0 and clinched the team victory as they already were assured of a forfeit in the night’s final weight of 106 pounds.
“We were in good shape early with that opening takedown,” said Dutchcot. “But we ended up getting pinned there. They say that wrestling’s an individual sport, but when you see your teammates out there battling and you give up a pin, it deflates the team a little bit. It’s tough to pick each other up sometimes.”
The Black Panthers ran off three straight pins by Colby Imler (160), Austin Mowry (170), and Alex Fouse (182) to get on the scoreboard. But the Bisons returned the favor at 195 and 220 with pins by Owen Biddle and Jaydin Vargas, respectively.
Biddle’s bout with Northern’s Luke Welsh was tied, 1-1, after three periods and the one-minute sudden victory frame.
Biddle rode Welsh out in the first 30-second tiebreaker, then chose the down position in the second one. The Bison grappler stood and scored a reversal before pinning him with three seconds remaining on the clock.
Vargas followed with a strong first period against Jay Ebersole. He had a takedown and two nearfalls for a quick 7-0 lead. Ebersole got a reversal prior to the period running out, and selected the top position for the second.
However, Ebersole couldn’t turn Vargas, and the Bison had other ideas by reversing him and putting him on his back for the fall at 3:59.
In the final bout contested on the mat, Northern Bedford’s Kyle Guyer had a first-period pin at 285, while Bedford’s Thomas Steinbrunner received the 106-pound forfeit to bring the meet to a close.
Bedford, 3-5, will host Cambria Heights and Somerset in a double dual on Tuesday.
Northern Bedford, 6-7, is at Claysburg-Kimmel on Thursday.
BEDFORD 55, NORTHERN BEDFORD 24
113 — Camden Koontz, B, won by forfeit.
120 — Jacob Dawson, B, won by forfeit.
126 — Hadyn Snavely, B, dec. Lucas Heck, 6-1.
132 — Mathew Emerick, B, pinned Eyziak Cottle, 2:40.
138 — Kaden Cassidy, B, pinned Case Donaldson, 2:45.
145 — Nathan Gabriel, B, maj. dec. Ian Sherlock, 16-2.
152 — Brayden Koontz, B, pinned Brady Clark, 3:39.
160 — Colby Imler, NB, pinned Connor Clarke, 2:51.
170 — Austin Mowry, NB, pinned Ashton Dull, 4:16.
182 — Alex Fouse, NB, pinned Anthony DeBonis, 0:11.
195 — Owen Biddle, B, pinned Luke Welsh, 7:57 2OT.
220 — Jaydin Vargas, B, pinned Jay Ebersole, 3:59.
285 — Kyle Guyer, NB, pinned Deran Miller, 1:49.
106 — Thomas Steinbrunner, B, won by forfeit.