PHILIPSBURG - It wasn't too long after he hit the Peterson roll and put State College's Will Roeshot on his back, turning a one-point deficit into a four-point lead late in the 152-pound bout, that Philipsburg-Osceola's Dallas Kephart looked into the stands and shook his head while still in the Peterson position.
"I just knew I had him, and I got it locked," Kephart said. "It's a big relief. You're down 4-3 and you've 30 seconds to go, and you're exhausted, but you've got to do something. Just to get it done is the best."
The Mounties had an 11-point lead going into the last two weights, and the dual meet was still in the balance, but Kephart's 8-4 win clinched P-O's eventual 44-27 win over the Little Lions in a District 6 Class AAA Duals quarterfinal Wednesday night at the P-O gymnasium.
"That's the first time I've ever seen him hit a Peterson," P-O coach Tim McCamley said. "I was happy with it. I'm not going to lie. We work on that a lot, but we just don't see it much in the matches."
"It felt pretty good just to go out there and get the win for the guys," Kephart said.
While Kephart's win clinched the dual meet, P-O 160-pound sophomore Nick Patrick put the cherry on top of the cake with a 10-4 win over Jared Price in the final bout.
The win moved the Mounties (9-4) into the semifinals against top-seeded Central Mountain at 10 a.m. Saturday at Tyrone.
Kephart, who is now 11-14 after a rocky start to the season, was leading Roeshot (13-6) 3-2 in the second period when Roeshot took him down to take the lead. Roeshot rode Kephart for most of the third period, but Kephart saw a chance for a big move, and he hit it.
"He was on the opposite side, and I saw his wrist reaching over," Kephart said, "and I just grabbed it and rolled and hoped for the best."
"He's really wrestling well right now," McCamley said. "We knew he knew how to wrestle, but it was just a matter of putting it all together. He probably shouldn't be at 152, but he's doing that for the team, and it's starting to pay off for him. He's always wrestled with a lot of heart."
The Mounties started building their lead by winning three of the first four weights, getting a pin by Bub Lumadue in 3:40 at 182, a 6-3 decision by Mason Pryde over Benjamin Roeshot at 195 and a pin by Nick Gray in 5:19 at 220.
Gray (21-2), the Mirror's top-ranked 220-pounder, had an 11-3 lead over the strong Davis when he put Davis on his back with a bar-arm and pinned him.
"Nick's wrestling really well," McCamley said. "He's wrestling with all kinds of confidence right now, and that's what he needs."
After a pin by State's Jack Vanderport at 285, P-O's Bryce Bennett (22-4) picked up a forfeit win at 106, and Chris Thompson (20-5) rolled to a 17-2 technical fall over Kyle Catral in 3:30 at 113, giving P-O a 26-12 lead.
The Lions (10-11) climbed back with a Daniel Sills pin at 120 and an Anthony Myers 7-0 win over Levi Hughes at 126. P-O had to forfeit 138 because Scott Yarger is out for the season and will undergo surgery on his shoulder next week. But 132-pound sophomore Dakota Weitoish (20-9) and 145-pound senior Caleb Shively (20-8) picked up the slack with first-period pins.
"I said to Shively 'You can ice this match for us right now,'" McCamley said, "and that brought a smile to his face. I realize they've got to pin our guys at 152 and 160, but that's going to be a major feat to do something like that. [Shively] took some pressure off some kids."
"We knew we needed two pins at the end to do it," State College first-year coach Ryan Cummins said. "Couldn't quite get there. Next time, hopefully."
The Mounties will now get ready for another shot with Central Mountain, which beat P-O, 38-18, in December.
"We're ready for them. Bring it on again," McCamley said. "We treat this as a tournament. We're going to the semifinals of a tournament, and we'll see what we can do. We're not going to do much moving around. We're just going to say 'Here we are. Come get us.'"
170-Stover, SC, pinned Guy, 3:08; 182-Lumadue, PO, pinned Dreibelbis, 3:40; 195-Pryde, PO, dec. B. Roeshot, 6-3; 220-Gray, PO, pinned Davis, 5:19; 285-Vanderport, SC, pinned Day, 2:44; 106-Bennett, PO, won by forfeit; 113-Thompson, PO, tech. fall Catral, 17-2, 3:30.
120-Sills, SC, pinned Quick, 3:04; 126-Myers, SC, dec. Hughes, 7-0; 132-Weitoish, PO, pinned Ekdahl, 1:01; 138-Kauffman, SC, won by forfeit; 145-Shively, PO, pinned Barger, 1:18; 152-Kephart, PO, dec. W. Roeshot, 8-4; 160-Patrick, PO, dec. Price, 10-4.
Records: State College (10-11); Philipsburg-Osceola (9-4)
Referees: Edgell, Fogel