HANOVER -- South Western coach Brad Ziegler admitted it afterwards.
He didn't think his wrestling team looked good on paper going into Thursday night's match against Dallastown. He even told his team that in his pre-game speech.
When the match at South Western was over, however, it looked pretty even, with each team winning seven bouts.
It eventually came down to the second-to-last match at 170 pounds. Dallastown sophomore Bailey Druck, a spot starter a year ago who earned a full-time starting spot this season, needed to win to keep the match alive. A loss to Mustangs' senior and third-year starter Brady Schultz would give South Western the win.
Holding a one-point advantage most of the way, Druck again found himself up by a point with under 30 seconds remaining. Dallastown coach Matt Striebig just wanted his wrestler to avoid a costly mistake. Ziegler knew Schultz needed to attempt a takedown if he wanted to win. With the wrestlers standing on their feet, Schultz lunged at Druck's legs and grabbed hold. He brought down Druck with 11 seconds left in the bout to walk away with a one-point win.
And South Western eventually came away with a 34-29 victory, leaving just the Mustangs and Spring Grove as the two remaining unbeaten teams in York-Adams Division I, with identical 3-0 marks.
"I tip my hat to South Western," Striebig said. "Their wrestlers were here to wrestle. And it seemed like a lot of the bouts they were trying to win in the last minute. That was the hardest part for me to swallow tonight."
The Mustangs collected precious bonus points with four pins and made it difficult for Dallastown (2-1 Division I) to score in the seven matches the Wildcats did win. Dallastown had just one pin, one technical fall and three major decisions.
"Quite frankly, upper-(weight) guys, if they go on their back, they're going to get pinned," Striebig said. "Little guys they have those flexible shoulders. It doesn't sound like much, but those points make a big difference."
Dallastown took its only lead of the night, 3-0, when 195-pounder Zaire Lawrence started off with a 6-4 decision over Alex Jones. South Western then got three straight pins from Aram Moffitt (220 pounds), Devon Ackerman (heavyweight) and Owen Wherley (106) to take an 18-3 advantage. The Mustangs later took a 31-15 lead when 145-pounder Gage Thomas pinned Anthony DeMarco in 4 minutes and 27 seconds.
Dallastown's Tanner Druck (152) and Luke Baldwin (160) each scored major decisions to bring the Wildcats back to within 31-23 heading into the 170-pound bout.
Dallastown senior Cooper Deller (182) capped off the night by pinning Gunner Holtz in 1:07.
The Wildcats will now have a quick turnaround for the Rockets. They will travel to Spring Grove on Saturday.
"There's no pressure on that one for us," Striebig said. "You could have about three years of preparation for Spring Grove and I still don't know if that results in a win."
WEST YORK 43, CEN TRAL YORK 27: At Central York, the home team jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first four bouts, but West York rallied to wipe out the deficit and earn the Division I victory. Zack Smith, Alex Raffensberger and Hunter Scheivert recorded pins for the Bulldogs, and Cole Rinehart, Noah Townsley, Garrett Stauffer and Kyle Narber earned major decisions. Matt Houck scored a pin for Central.
NORTHEASTERN 42, NEW OXFORD 31: At New Oxford, the Bobcats got pins in the final two matches from Jeb Payne (160) and Nick Yinger (170) to rally from a 31-30 deficit. Northeastern also got pins from Abe Holmes (126), Derrick Stahl (195) and Anthony Leese (220). New Oxford's pins came from Mike Rudisill (106), Lake Laughman (113) and Nolan Poust (138).
YORK SUBURBAN 45, LITTLESTOWN 30: At Suburban, the home team rolled behind pins from Ch'aim Smith (220), Dustin Knaub (120), Brady Lauchman (145) and Liam McWilliams (152). Littlestown got pins from Jordan Matthews (132), Dustin Bowersox (160) and Austin Sanders (170).
DOVER 43, KENNARD- DALE 24: At Dover, the home team got pins from Logan Ambrose (152) and Cameron Beckman (220). Dover was also helped by three forfeits. K-D got all of its points by pins from Pat Scarborough (145), Chance Marsteller (170), Mike Bracey (106) and Troy Jones (113).
RED LION 49, SUSQUE HANNOCK 19: At Glen Rock, the Lions got pins from Ryan Sprenkle (126) and Cody Stern (138). The match started with six straight forfeits. Red Lion won five of those, while Suquehannock received one.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.