BEDFORD - With only one senior in a lineup dotted with some promising underclassmen, Penn Cambria coach sees a bright future for his team.
The problem for the young Panthers Tuesday night was they were facing a far more experienced Bedford that's tuning up for this weekend's Thomas Subaru Tournament.
After the Panthers, who entered with an 11-7 record, won two of the first three bouts in the upper weights, the Bisons, ranked second in the Mirror rankings, reeled off five straight pins from 113 to 138, finished with seven falls in all and cruised to a 53-15 win.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Bedford’s Toby Brett goes for the pin against Penn?Cambria’s Mike Eckenrode at 138 pounds.
"We were a little outmanned there," PC coach Todd Niebauer said. "We knew coming in Bedford was a pretty good team. I hate to tell my kids that's not as good as Bedford has been in the past how many years. My kids fought pretty well, but I think they realize where they need to be in a year or two."
"I've been there," Bedford coach Brian Creps said of PC's situation. "I know what that's like, but they're doing well. They're holding their own against most of the teams around, and that goes to show down the road they'll be pretty solid.
"We were obviously heavily favored in a lot of those matches, and our kids' experience showed tonight. We were aggressive knowing we have to wrestle again [tonight against Richland], and they wanted to get home and get some sleep."
The meet started at 195, where PC's Henry Schlosser (20-5) was leading Daryl Stiffler, 3-0, in the second period when he bar-armed Stiffler to his back and got the pin in 3:55 - his 14th pin of the season.
At 220, PC's Seth McLendon made a first-period takedown of Chance Williams and a second-period escape stand in a 3-1 win. The 285-pound bout appeared headed toward overtime, but Bedford's Nate Shoemaker took John Wilkinson down with 5 seconds left to win, 4-2.
"We liked where we started," Niebauer said. "It couldn't have been any better for us. But you knew it was coming. You knew the hammers were coming."
With no PC 106-pounder, Creps moved freshman Jonathan Gabriel (19-1) up to 113, where he pinned freshman Zach Stevens with a low-leg cradle in 1:06.
Jake Warren moved up to 120 and cradled Ryan Biter for the fall in 36 seconds. Top-ranked Ryan Easter (19-1) built a 7-0 lead on freshman Austin Farabaugh at 126 before hooking up a cradle. The end came in 1:30.
At 132, Garrett Thomas (18-2) held a 4-1 lead over sophomore Dominic Farabaugh when the pin came in 3:39. Leading 5-0 at 138, Toby Brett (16-3) reversed sophomore Mike Eckenrode (18-6) to his back and pinned him in 2:18, giving the Bisons (13-2) a 33-9 lead.
"We bumped up so Gabriel could get a match. It's been awhile since he had a match," Creps said. "It kind of turns into a good spot for us and bad spot for other teams whenever you can line up Gabriel, Warren, Easter, Thomas and Brett. There's nowhere to hide."
Bedford's Kenny Collins scored two takedowns of Aaron Hogue in the first period for a 4-1 lead, but Hogue made a comeback. He got an escape in the second and two stalling points in the third, but came up short, 5-4.
The Bisons started hammering again, with top-ranked Tanner Williams earning a 15-0 technical fall over freshman Jacob Driskel (17-7) at 152, and top-ranked Caleb Grimes pinning Brendon Myers in 1:29.
After PC's Matt Wyland won by forfeit at 170, Bedford's Michael Brett (14-4) closed the meet with a pin of Matt Smith in 52 seconds at 182.
"You can dance around and go find weak competition, and it gives your sense of false hope," Niebauer said. "We need to get in tangles like that. It's not like I want my kids to go out and get packed in the first period, but you have to realize where you need to be."
195-Schlosser, PC, pinned Stiffler, 3:25; 220-McLendon, PC, dec. C. Williams, 3-1; 285-Shoemaker, B, dec. Wilkinson, 4-2; 106-No bout; 113-Gabriel, B, pinned Stevens, 1:06; 120-Warren, B, pinned Biter, :36; 126-Easter, B, pinned A. Farabaugh, 3:39.
132-Thomas, B, pinned D. Farabaugh, 3:39; 138-T. Brett, B, pinned Eckenrode, 2:18; 145-Collins, B, dec. Hogue, 5-4; 152-T. Williams, B, tech. fall Driskel, 15-0, 3:49; 160-Grimes, B, pinned Myers, 1:29; 170-Wyland, PC, won by forfeit; 182-M. Brett, B, pinned Smith, :52.
Records: Penn Cambria (11-8); Bedford (13-2).
JV winner: Swindell, B