LOYSBURG - Bedford and Northern Bedford split the first eight weight classes, and the Panthers held a four-point lead going into 285 pounds.
But that's when the Bisons, ranked second in the Mirror rankings, stepped on the gas pedal.
They recorded four pins and won five of the last six bouts, including 132-pounder Garrett Thomas over Mason Replogle, 2-0, in the finale and most anticipated meeting of Saturday night, to beat the Panthers, 44-27.
"At some places, we wrestled really well, and in other places, we didn't," Bedford coach Brian Creps. "I think our experienced guys really wrestled well. They were picking up falls, and they were doing things to get points for the team."
"I think the kids wrestled better than what they did on Thursday night [a 54-9 loss to Chestnut Ridge]," Northern coach Brian Dutchcot said. "They showed a lot more intensity and a lot more hustle. I'm pleased with their effort."
While there was a lot of anticipation for the final bout, the opening one between Bedford's Toby Brett and NBC's Damian Corle at 138 was nothing to sneeze at either.
Brett scored a five-point move in the first period, but Corle avoided the pin, rode Brett the entire second and reversed with 28 seconds left in the bout. Brett escaped with 4 seconds left to win, 6-2.
"Toby wrestled a real nice match," Creps said.
After NBC's unbeaten Drew Gartland pinned Ty Zimmerman in 1:08 at 145, Northern's Ty Bechtel broke a 2-2 tie with Niklas Wendt in the first period at 152 by putting Wendt on his back and pinning him in 1:31.
"That was a nice win by Bechtel," Dutchcot said. "The pin helped out a lot."
Major decisions by Tanner Williams and Caleb Grimes at 160 and 170, respectively, and a pin by Michael Brett at 182 gave the Bisons (9-2) a 17-12 lead.
At 195, NBC's Justin Brunner took Daryl Stiffler down to his back twice. The second time, Brunner got the fall in 3:15. Northern's Eric Grace parlayed a first-period takedown and a third-period stalling point into a 3-0 win over Chance Williams at 220, giving NBC (8-3) a 21-17 lead.
Bedford 285-pounder Nate Shoemaker started the roll by pinning Chase Ott in 1:40.
"At the beginning of the year, he kept getting forfeits and he never got to wrestle much," Creps said. "He's been wrestling pretty well. We're real tickled with how he's coming along as a sophomore."
Pins by Jonathan Gabriel and Jake Warren at 106 and 113, respectively, made the score 35-21. Warren's bout with Trey Childers wasn't without some nervous moments for the Bedford side as he was reversed to his back for four points in the first period.
"He kept his composure," Creps said. "Sometimes in a match funny things happen."
The Panthers, mathematically, still had a chance, and Jared Helsley did his part with a pin of Kyle Mehle in 4:20. But, two-time state placewinner erased that problem by pinning Judah Gochnour in 54 seconds to salt the win away.
That set the stage for Thomas and Replogle, who was coming off a big win over Chestnut Ridge's Trent Crouse on Thursday.
Thomas notched the only points of the bout with a takedown in the first period. Replogle nearly reversed at the end of the period, and Dutchcot questioned the referee whether he got it or not, but it wasn't called.
"I thought the referee has signaled a two-point reversal," Dutchcot said. "I guess I should have been paying more attention. He was saying 'Control red.' I thought since he flashed the reversal, we were in control."
Thomas rode Replogle the entire second period, and Replogle did the same in the third to end the dual meet.
"It was one of those District 5 battles that we'll probably see all year-long," Dutchcot said. "Thomas definitely has the strength on us. That's one of the key issues. We'll put a game plan together and see what we can come up with."
"Garrett's been wrestling very tough lately," Creps said. "Replogle is a super wrestler, and we knew it was going to be a tight match. Those two are really good kids."
138-T. Brett, B, dec. Corle, 6-2; 145-Gartland, NB, pinned Zimmerman, 1:08; 152-Bechtel, NB, pinned Wendt, 1:08; 160-T. Williams, B, maj. dec. Kolinchak, 18-6; 170-Grimes, B, maj. dec. Douglas, 13-3; 182-M. Brett, B, pinned Claar, 2:48; 195-Brunner, NB, pinned Stiffler, 3:15.
220-Grace, NB, dec. C. Williams, 3-0; 285-Shoemaker, B, pinned Ott, 1:40; 106-Gabriel, B, pinned Defibaugh, 1:45; 113-Warren, B, pinned Childers, 2:43; 120-Helsley, NB, pinned Mehle, 4:20; 126-Easter, B, pinned J. Gochnour, :54; 132-Thomas, B, dec. Replogle, 2-0.
Records: Bedford (9-2); Northern Bedford (8-3).
JV winners: M. Gochnour, NB; Vigil, NB.