HUNTINGDON — Things looked bleak at the outset for the visiting Clearfield Bison wrestling team, as the host Bearcats of Huntingdon raced out to a 16-0 start and then were up 19-3 after five weight classes were completed.
The Bison then won seven out of the last nine weights, culminating with an Evan Davis first period fall that broke a 28-28 tie and gave the Bison their first dual meet win of the season.
The match started at 113 pounds, where the Bison had no one weighed in, so they were essentially down 6-0 before the match even began.
Bearcat Devin Grubb gave Huntingdon a 9-0 lead when he picked up a major decision over Derrick Bender at 120.
Clearfield then forfeited to Roland Mills, one of four returning 20+ match winners from last year in Huntingdon’s lineup, at 126 and then bumped up their line up the rest of the way.
Wrestling at 132 for the first time, Bison sophomore Nolan Barr (3-3) had a workmanlike 4-0 win to give the Bison their first points.
Huntingdon got those three points right back when Morgan McDivitt picked up a reversal with 10 seconds remaining in the bout to edge Bison senior Peyton Smay 8-7.
Bison sophomore Karson Kline (5-3) finally started to swing the momentum in Clearfield’s favor with a first period fall off of an arm bar, making the score 19-9 in favor of Huntingdon.
Luke Freeland got off to a quick start at 152 scoring the opening takedown off of an ankle pick 30 seconds in. However, it was two penalty points off of Full Nelsons that proved to be the difference in a 6-4 victory.
At 160 Logan Firanski was a bit outgunned, but tried to play the aggressor by attempting a headlock, but roles got reversed by Adrian Lender who picked up his own headlock and a first period fall to stop the bleeding for the Bearcats and set the score at 25-12.
The second of Huntingdon’s 20+ match winners from last year took to the mat at 170, but ran in to Clearfield’s lone returning 30 match winner Mark McGonigal. In what was supposed to be the feature match instead turned in to McGonigal (6-2) dominating from the outset on his way to a 15-1 major decision.
Returning Bearcat state qualifier Myles Baney was the heavy favorite at 182, but Bison senior Brett Zattoni paid no mind to that. Zattoni picked up his lone point through the first three periods on a fleeing the mat penalty against Baney. That point was enough to forge a 1-1 tie and send the bout to overtime. Zattoni (6-3) hit a lateral drop for the upset and probably his best win as a Bison.That brought the Bison within six for the first time since the forfeited bout to start the night.
Hayden Kavolick almost picked up a fall at the end of the second period, but had to settle for an 8-3 win to make the score 25-22 Huntingdon.
Oliver Billotte (7-1) picked up a first period fall at 220 to give the Bison their first lead of the night, 28-25.
The final returning heavy hitter for Huntingdon, Isaiah Reed, took to the mat at 285 and was looking for bonus points to put the Bearcats back on top. Clearfield heavyweight Jon Doran put his 40 pound weight advantage to good use and wrestled a smart match, keeping the score a 6-1 regular decision, setting the match score at 28-28.
Bison freshman 106 pounder Evan Davis (6-3) then stole the show with his aforementioned heroics by cradling fellow freshman Landon Dunsmore to cap the Bison comeback with his fall.