Story first appeared in the Dec. 23, 2015 edition of the Lehighton Times News and on tnonline.com that same day.
Tuesday night’s Colonial League wrestling match between Palmerton and Northwestern Lehigh was a clash between two programs in different phases of growth.
The Blue Bombers are in the infancy of rebuilding, working on filling a lineup and gaining varsity experience. The Tigers are enjoying their years of hard work and are at the top of the league.
One could not tell the difference during the quick match between the two on youth night at Northwestern Lehigh High School as the Blue Bombers and Tigers battled early before Northwestern emerged with a 51-30 victory.
“They faced a little bit of adversity being down 30-12 in the match early,” Northwestern head coach Jim Moll said about his Tigers. “They responded, stepped up and got the job done.”
Palmerton’s lack of depth showed out of the gate with a forfeit at 152 pounds, giving Northwestern a 6-0 lead before the pin parade began in New Tripoli.
Following the uncontested bout, a rare string of seven consecutive pins came.
The Blue Bombers recorded five consecutive pins in the match for their only wins on the evening. The stretch surged Palmerton into the lead, which extended all the way to 30-12 after the bout at 285 pounds.
Riad Kapur, Jarred Mooney, Daniel Nicolo, Derrek Koch and Jerricho Burger notched the pins for Palmerton.
The Tigers won the final six bouts of the match to earn the comeback win.
Northwestern improved to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in the Colonial League while Palmerton moved to 1-5 and 0-4.
Northwestern’s Zach Anderson’s pin of Palmerton’s Hunter Fiero at 106 pounds halted the streak.
That pin was followed by a win by technical fall for Ryan Haas at 113 pounds, a forfeit at 120 pounds and a pin in 1:34 by Quentin Bernhard at 126 pounds that surged the Tigers back into the lead.
Although the two teams are at different spots as a program, Moll said he was not surprised by the tightly-contested match.
“They are well coached,” he noted. “I’m not surprised. They came to wrestle and did a good job. They made us wrestle hard.”
Despite the loss, Palmerton head coach Justin Petersen was pleased with how his team performed.
“Just to be in the match at the end is something to say for our kids,” he said. “I think we are building. We are young and we are getting better and better each week and that is all that matters.”
PINS APLENTY … After starting the match with a forfeit, there were seven consecutive pins in the first seven contested bouts of the match. The match featured 10 pins in total.
HALFWAY THERE … Tuesday night’s match marked the fourth Colonial League battle for Northwestern, completing half of its 2015-16 league schedule without a league loss. The last time the Tigers went undefeated in the Colonial League was the 2007-08 season, which was also the last time Northwestern was crowned league team champions.
NO DECISION … Not a single bout was decided by decision in the match. There were 10 pins, two forfeits, one technical fall and one major decision.
N’western 51, Palmerton 30
152- Jackson Bernhard (NW) won by forfeit
160- Jason Hottinger (NW) pin Kyle Kralik in 3:41
170- Riad Kapur (PN) pin Eddie Parrish in 3:08
182- Jarred Mooney (PN) pin Andrew Sorenson in 2:51
195- Daniel Nicolo (PN) pin Jacob Shellhamer in 5:17
220- Derrek Koch (PN) pin Quin Moyer in 4:53
285- Jericho Burger (PN) pin Jacob Murray in 1:42
106- Zach Anderson (NW) pin Hunter Fiero in 2:31
113- Ryan Haas (NW) tech. fall Devin Rivera in 4:50
120- Baily Wehr (NW) won by forfeit
126- Quentin Bernhard (NW) pin Chase Faulstick in 1:34
132 – Jarett White (NW) pin Lucas Christman in 1:39
138 – Dalton Webster (NW) pin Damien Fink in 1:58
145- David VanBlargen (NW) maj. dec. Christopher Fredricks, 10-2