HUNTINGDON - Juniata had closed to within 11 points of Huntingdon going into the last three weights after being down by 21 halfway into the dual meet.
The Indians, who won the District 6 Class AA Tournament last year, needed wins in the last three to pull off the comeback.
But then Jacob White pushed in a little too much on Huntingdon 120-pounder Devon Green, who led 8-2 when he hip-tossed White to his back and pinned him in 3:06. The Bearcats won two of the last three weights to beat the Indians, 45-28, Tuesday night.
"Green capitalized on that," Huntingdon coach Jon Mykut said. "He has some big-move potential, and he's a good athlete. He was in control of that match, and the White kid was pushing in. He just hit him with that nice lateral drop, and he was able to get the fall."
"Huntingdon is a tough opponent," said Juniata coach Mike Robinson, whose team fell to 4-4. "The kids knew they were in a fight, and it was a situation where it came down to the last three matches, but we came up on the short end."
The Bearcats (3-2) built a 30-9 lead on the strength of four pins and a forfeit win. Dakota Peters (138), Zach Romano (170), Mitchell Laurer (182) and Nathan Shope (195) recorded pins in that stretch for Huntingdon.
"We weren't expecting that," Robinson said. "There was a couple matches that we felt could have gone the other way."
"That's what we like," Mykut said. "This crew is kind of searching for its own identity. We just graduated those seniors who got a lot of falls. These guys went out and went after them."
Peters was up 3-2 in the first bout of the night when he reversed freshman Ty Treaster to his back and got the fall in 3:06.
Juniata's returning District 6 runner-up Brandon Rowles withstood some grueling riding from Owen Peters in the second period at 145 to score three nearfall points in the third to win, 5-1.
After returning district ham Zach Beitz (15-1) pinned Huntingdon's Josh Gutshall in 3:29 at 152, the Indians opted to forfeit to Josh Bafia at 160 and bump Tyler Hershey up to 170 to face Romano.
Romano, however, headlocked Hershey for five points in the first period, reversed in the second and stuck him with a half nelson in 3:08.
"They had a forfeit to five somewhere through there," Mykut said. "I guess when you're looking at our lineup you look at the more experienced guys we have, and I would think you would give it to him or Shope."
"There's not much we can do there," Robinson said. "We forfeit a weight class. Trust me, if we could fill it, we would."
Laurer tossed Billy Giarratana to his back twice in the first period, and the second one resulted in a pin in 1:10. Shope (12-4) gave the Bearcats their 21-point lead with a pin of Chase Forry in 1:54.
Pins by Juniata's Patrick Fitzgerald at 220 and Dylan Powell at 285, respectively, made the score 30-21, but Bearcat 106-pounder Jacob Dubbs used a low-leg cradle to pin Cole Walters in 1:10.
Hunter Harris rang up three takedowns of Matt Wilson, five nearfall points and a reversal to earn a 13-1 major decision at 113.
White earned the initial takedown, but it was all Green after that. Green reversed him to his back in the first, leg-splitted him in the second and then hip-tossed him to his back.
Nathan Russell broke a scoreless tie with Derek Beitz by countering a shot and getting a takedown with 7.5 seconds left in overtime to win, 2-0.
Juniata's Luke Nanna closed out the meet with a 3-2 win over Eric Lynn, but the Bearcats were able to stop a two-meet skid.
"We were basically embarrassed when we wrestled Mifflin County in our gym [a 44-17 loss]," Mykut said. "Even though we didn't get the W up in Philipsburg [a 41-24 loss], we wrestled them pretty tough. The kids have been working hard, and it showed tonight."
138-D. Peters, H, pinned Treaster, 3:33; 145-Rowles, J, dec. O. Peters, 5-1; 152-Z. Beitz, J, pinned Gutshall, 3:29; 160-Bafia, H, won by forfeit; 170-Romano, H, pinned Hershey, 3:08; 182-Laurer, H, pinned Giarratana, 1:10; 195-Shope, H, pinned Forry, 1:54.
220-Fitzgerald, J, pinned Wholaver, 4:49; 285-Powell, J, pinned Kocik, 1:25; 106-Dubbs, H, pinned Walters, 1:10; 113-Harris, J, maj. dec. Wilson, 13-1; 120-Green, H, pinned White, 3:06; 126-Russell, H, dec. D. Beitz, 2-0 OT; 132-Nanna, J, dec. Lynn, 3-2.
Records: Juniata (4-4); Huntingdon (3-2).