BEDFORD - Whenever Bedford and Chestnut Ridge battle on the wrestling mat, there's usually a pivotal win in the tension-filled match that makes you shake your head its so surprising.
While there were two controversial bouts in the first five weights that could qualify as a head shaker, the one that topped them all, and ultimately decided the dual meet, came at 182 with Bedford holding a seven-point lead with six bouts to go.
And it only lasted 19 seconds in a matchup of veteran stars. That's how long it took Ridge's Bradie Bollman to splade Michael Brett and pin him.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Bradie Bollman is congratulated by the Chestnut Ridge bench after he pinned Bedford’s Michael Brett in 19 seconds.
The pin electrified the Lions and their crowd in the packed gymnasium and, along with big wins by Dustin Bence (145) and freshman Connor Buttry (170), led to a 39-32 win over the Bisons.
"That was enough to make me light-headed yelling," said Ridge coach Greg Lazor, who keeps a towel with him during matches. That towel was shredded afterward.
"The spladle is a little trick that I have in my back pocket," Bollman said. "I wasn't expecting that, but that's how it went."
The Lions made some history with the win. It was the program's first win over Bedford since 2006, and the first time a Lazor-coached Ridge team beat the Bisons.
"Did you grab that monkey off of me?" Lazor quipped.
"It was a lot of fun," Bedford coach Brian Creps said. "Our kids wrestled their hearts out. We wrestled with a lot of skill. We wrestled with a lot intensity. We'll learn from that and move on."
While Bollman's bout was huge in helping getting the primate off of Lazor, the bout of the night came at 132. After Ridge's Sam Shank opened with a pin at 120, and Bedford's Ryan Easter majored Derrick Claar, 12-2, at 126, the fans got a treat at 132.
The opening flurry between Bedford's Garrett Thomas and Ridge's Trent Crouse was breathtaking. No points were scored, and none were scored when another furious flurry finished off the first period.
Crouse, who beat Easter a couple times last season, took a 1-0 lead into the third period, but Thomas reversed 33 seconds into it. Crouse reversed with 40 seconds left to take the lead.
The crowd was already in a frenzy when referee Crouse was hit with his second stall call with 7.3 seconds left, tying the score at 3-3 and sending the bout into overtime. Thirty seconds into OT, Thomas hit a double-leg shot and took Crouse down for a 5-3 win.
"What a fun match," Creps said. "That was worth the price of admission all to itself. It was like two heavyweight fighters brawling. Both of the kids were well conditioned. There were times when both kids had to take a breather, and I think that's why the stalling was called."
"It came down to a lot of scrambles, a lot of battles," Lazor said. "I'm not real happy about the [stall] call - a stall call on your butt. It's one of the first times I've seen that."
After a pin by Bedford's Toby Brett at 138, Bence and Bedford's Kenny Collins hooked up in an emotional, penalty-filled bout. Collins had a 4-1 lead in the first period, but a stalling point, an illegal slam point and a two-point interlocking gave Bence a 5-4 lead. It was 8-8 in the third when Bence tilted Collins for three back points and an 11-8 win.
"I think the real match came at 145 with all the penalty points that were called there," Creps said. "If we win that match, we win."
A pin by Tanner Williams at 152 and a Caleb Grimes 6-1 win over Kyle Winegardner at 160, Connor Buttry, making his season debut, decked Niklas Wendt at 37 seconds. Lazor then shifted Bollman up to 182 and Tyler Dibert up to 195.
"We felt confident he could go and do the job," Lazor said. "And then instead of wasting Bollman on an inexperience guy, we figured we'd put Bollman and Dibert at 182 and 195 and make Brett beat one of our better guys."
Bollman, who learned the spladle from his dad in elementary school, hit Brett with the defensive gem in the first five seconds. Brett rolled through to his but, but Bollman readjusted, forced Brett to his back again and got the fall.
When he came off the mat, Bollman was met with hugs from his teammates and coaches in a very loud gym.
"We weren't counting on six," Lazor said. "We counted on it being a good match. We thought we could win it. He's pretty slick [with the spladle]. He's a funky kind of guy. Sometimes he tries too much of that goofy stuff, and we have to try to get him back to the basics, but we'll take that one."
"I knew it was tight," Bollman said. "I wasn't planning on being able to readjust like I did, but I readjusted and came through with it.
Creps chose to forfeit to Dibert at 195, giving the Lions a 27-22 lead. Dan Albright stretched the lead to 11 with a pin of Chance Williams at 220, and Austin Buttry salted the win away with a pin of Nate Shoemaker in 1:34. High-fives and hugs followed on the Ridge bench, and yellow towels were waving in the Ridge stands.
Bedford won the last two points, getting a pin from freshman star Jonathan Gabriel at 106 and a 13-0 major decision from Jake Warren over Dustin Ickes at 113.
The teams will likely meet again in the District 5 Duals. Something to look forward to.
"In the end, they won more matches than we did, and they deserved to win," Creps said. "This isn't our Super Bowl. This is a match that we wrestle for fun, and it's not going to make or break our season."
120-Shank, CR, pinned Mehle, :32; 126-Easter, B, maj. dec. Claar, 12-2; 132-Thomas, B, dec. Crouse, 5-3 OT; 138-T. Brett, B, pinned Hillegass, 3:40; 145-Bence, CR, dec. Collins, 11-8; 152-T. Williams, B, pinned Clark, 1:44; 160-Grimes, B, dec. K. Winegardner, 6-1.
170-C. Buttry, CR, pinned Wendt, :37; 182-Bollman, CR, pinned M. Brett, :19; 195-Dibert, CR, won by forfeit; 220-D. Albright, CR, pinned C. Williams, 3:56; 285-A. Buttry, CR, pinned Shoemaker, 1:34; 106-Gabriel, B, pinned Burkett, :25; 113--Warren, B, maj. dec. Ickes, 13-0.
Records: Chestnut Ridge (2-0); Bedford (1-1).
Referees: Doug Fogel, Mike Eichelberger
JV: Tie, 12-12