DALLASTOWN — Wednesday will certainly be a night that Dallastown wrestler Owen Bricker will never forget.
For that matter, neither will his teammates.
Trailing in his match 9-0 after two periods against Gettysburg’s Ethan Dalton in the 120-pound weight class, things didn’t look great for the freshman.
As the saying goes, however, "it ain’t over ‘til it’s over."
Bricker needed just 78 seconds to prove that, with his team mired in a 19-19 deadlock with just six bouts remaining.
Bricker began the third period with a takedown that eventually led to an unlikely pin at the 5:18 mark of the match. Instead of falling behind the Warriors in an early-season York-Adams League Division I showdown, the Wildcats were able to take the lead.
That proved even more important when the Warriors were able to erase that deficit in the final bout of the night at 152, when Luke Sainato pinned Dallastown’s Hunter Sweitzer to forge a 31-31 deadlock after all 14 bouts.
Winning by criteria H: That set the stage for a bit of drama. The deadlock had to be broken by criteria. The first seven proved indecisive before the Wildcats were declared the winners via criteria H — most first points scored, 15-12 — to claim a thrilling triumph.
“I can’t say that I was optimistic about it,” Dallastown coach Dave Gable said. “I never had a good feeling about it.”
It was only earlier this year in the District 3 Class 3-A Team Tournament that Gable and his squad found themselves in a similar spot. Back then it again came down to criteria H, which lifted Cedar Cliff to a victory over the Wildcats.
“I don’t even know,” Gable said, referring to the fact that he walked away from the scorer’s table while they were running through all of the criteria. “It was exciting for (our fans).”
Late-bout heroics: The victory Wednesday would not have been possible if not for the late-bout heroics of Bricker.
“That was just crazy,” Dallastown heavyweight Raymond Christas said. “That moment was amazing. He was getting beat, but he wasn’t getting dominated and he pulls that out of his hat. Wow. I’ve never seen him do anything like that in practice or anything.”
Christas, who needed just 91 seconds to score a pin in his bout with Gettysburg’s Robert Hatfield at 285, was on the edge of his seat after Bricker was able to get Dalton on his back.
“We were all holding each other’s legs,” Christas said. “We were all getting dead legs and just saying ‘call the pin’ and after (the referee) did it was just crazy.”
Thrilling first varsity win: Perhaps the craziest thing of all was that the victory marked the first one in Bricker’s career.
“First varsity win,” Bricker said. “I just kept thinking that I had to keep working hard and hit my big move.”
Bricker’s move, a headlock, ultimately did the trick, although it took nearly 45 seconds for the freshman to finally earn the stick.
“It felt pretty good,” he said. “I was pretty excited.”
So, too, was the entire Dallastown bench, which erupted after the referee slapped the mat.
Gable, who has been through and seen a lot over his two different stints as Dallastown’s head coach, admitted that he was hoping for a little less excitement.
“I almost had a heart attack,” he joked.
Long D-I season ahead: While the thrill of Wednesday’s victory will certainly not be forgotten, the rigors of a very competitive Division I schedule means that one win or one loss in December may not mean much come February.
“It was exciting, no doubt about it,” Gettysburg coach Chris Haines said. “I felt that both teams put on a great performance tonight. But, that said, it’s just one loss. It’s not the end of the world.”
Dover 54, Northeastern 30: At Dover, the Eagles received pins from John Bradbury (285), Mason Lewis (132), Bradyn Yerges (145) and Brandon Lawyer (182). For the Bobcats, Shawn Gray (220), Cole Wilson (126) and Thomas Gradwell (113) each picked up pins. The Eagles as a team also collected five forfeit victories.
West York 55, Kennard-Dale 18: At West York, the Bulldogs got pins from Jordan Billet (138), Tyquan Harrison (160), Raymond McGettigan (220), Frank Veloce (285) and Ivan Vega (113). K-D got pins from Daemon Davis (126), Aiden Stewart (132) and Nicholas Bradley (152).
Susquehannock 39, York Suburban 27: At Glen Rock, the Warriors collected pins from Luke Ohmann (220) and Eloy Rojo-Fuentes (285). Susquehannock also received four forfeit wins. Suburban got pins from Zachary Emory (120), Noah Rice (145) and Jamal Lewis (182),
Kennard Dale 54, East Pennsboro 50: At Fawn Grove, Carter Day pumped in 20 points and Jordan Day and Garrett Lowe each added 11 to lead K-D to the nonleague triumph. The Rams used a 23-12 third-quarter edge to erase a 27-20 halftime deficit. Jordan Day had three 3-pointers. Both teams are now 2-4.
Northern York 60, Dover 32: At Dillsburg, the Eagles dropped the nonleague contest and Elijah Sutton saw his string of five straight games over 30 points come to an end. Sutton finished with 11, but still led Dover in scoring. Dover fell to 5-2.; Northern improved to 4-1.
Mechanicsburg 63, Spring Grove 56: At Spring Grove, the Rockets dropped the nonleague contest, despite a combined 45 points from Madison Moore (27) and Brendan Jones (18). Spring Grove fell to 0-6. Mechanicsburg is 2-4.
Cedar Crest 4, Central York 0: At York City Ice Arena, Carter Crebs made 36 saves in a losing effort. Central fell to 2-10. Cedar Crest is 3-6.