Sometimes showdowns live up to the hype.
With the match's result hanging in the balance, 182-pounders Trevor Spicer of Eisenhower and Sage Sivak of Youngsville went toe-to-toe Wednesday at Eisenhower High School.
Spicer earned a see-saw 15-12 decision, and the forfeit win to conclude the match that followed gave his Knights a thrilling 34-33 win in front of a jam-packed crowd.
Times Observer photo by Allen Seybert
Eisenhower’s Trevor Spicer, left, and Youngsville’s Sage Sivak battle during the 182-pound bout of Wednesday’s wrestling match at Eisenhower High School. Spicer and Sivak provided a back-and-forth competitve bout with the match up for grabs. Spicer was a 15-12 winner, allowing the Knights a 34-33 victory.
Spicer and Sivak's bout began with the Eagles on top 33-25 and two matches remaining in the night. Eisenhower was to receive a forfeit at 195 pounds, meaning any kind of victory by Spicer would ensure a Knights win. On the flip side, a win by Sivak would secure the match for Youngsville.
From the onset, both wrestlers went on the attack. Spicer started the scoring with a takedown only to see Sivak respond with an escape and reversal to take a 3-2 lead. At the end of the first period, Sivak held a 5-4 advantage.
Spicer quickly scored on a reversal in the second period, but Sivak escaped to tie things at 6-6. The Youngsville wrestler went back on top with a takedown, but Spicer tied things with a reversal. By the time the horn sounded on the second period, Spicer led Sivak, 10-9.
Spicer led Sivak 12-10 in the final period before Sivak responded with a reversal in the final minute to tie things at 12-12. Things remained tied until the final seconds of the match when Spicer was awarded a technical point for locked hands and a reversal to make the final, 15-12.
"That's a pressure situation for any kid - let alone a sophomore," said Eisenhower coach Kris Black. "But that's what it's all about. Trevor wrestled well and Sivak wrestled well, but Trev found a way to come out on top."
According to Eagles coach Scott Ishman, the performance by Sivak was especially impressive - considering Sivak had been under the weather most of this week.
"It came down to he or his brother Stone as to who was going to go out there," said Ishman. "Sage wanted the opportunity and didn't disappoint. I couldn't be more proud of him and our entire team really."
Spicer's victory only closed the Knights to within five, but it allowed them to pull ahead for good when 195-pounder Jordan Hefferman was awarded a forfeit win.
While the match ended with a fantastic bout, it also began with one as Youngsville's Jaykup Durlin and Ike's Jake Johnson battled at 220 pounds. The Eagles got the edge in that one as Durlin survived for a 5-3, triple overtime rideout victory.
"I can't imagine how much guts that takes," said Ishman. "We needed a win there and Jaykup did what he needed to do."
Youngsville extended its lead to 6-0 with another close win at heavyweight. Stephen Beattie trailed the Knights' Kenny Peters late into the third period before scoring a take down and two back points to escape with the 5-2 victory.
Ike's first win of the evening came via forfeit as Steven Haner was the winner at 106 pounds. Aaron Hoover followed that up with a forfeit win for the Eagles at 113 to make it 12-6 visitors.
From there, the Knights would run off three straight victories to build a 19-12 lead. Jeb Fedorchuk major decisoned Chester Ciukaj, 15-4, at 120 pounds and Tyler Gourley picked up a 7-1 win over Judi Lewis at 126 pounds. The three-match winning streak was capped off by Dylan Baker's first period pin of Chandler Flinn at 132.
Youngsville got back in the winning column at 138 pounds, but the Knights got an important effort in the bout. Early in the third period, the Eagles' Hunter Proctor led Levi Stanko, 2-0. At that point, Stanko was hit with a leg cramp that he was unable to shake even after injury time.
Despite the cramp, Stanko fought his way through the rest of the bout ultimately dropping a 2-0 decision.
"For him to gut that out was big for us," said Black. "A lot of guys would've packed it in, but he didn't and we only lost three points. If he gives up any type of bonus points right there, we don't win the match."
Ike extended its lead to 25-15 when Richard Knisley was awarded a forfeit win at 145 pounds, but the Eagles would go on to win the next three weight classes - all via first period pins.
Zach Ishman started the run with a 1:06 pin of Robbie Wilston at 152 pounds and Jeremy Lyon followed with a 1:42 pin of Cade Hefferman at 160. The string of pins ended with Josh Lewis' 54-second pin of Clay Coffaro at 170 pounds, putting the Eagles up 33-25 and setting the stage for Spicer and Sivak.
"This is a big moment for our team," said Black. "I feel like we're really starting to bond and come together as a team. Hopefully, this momentum will carry over into this weekend and beyond."
Despite the narrow defeat, Ishman was extremely pleased with his Eagles' effort.
"We knew coming into this year we'd be giving up 18 points in every match," he said. "We got one back tonight, but were still giving up 12 points. Our goal has been to beat teams on the mat and we did that again tonight. I can't be upset with that."
Both teams are in action this weekend. Eisenhower competes at the Falconer Tournament, beginning at 4 p.m. Friday. Youngsville is at the Major Tom Carr Tournament in Erie on Saturday.
Eisenhower 34, Youngsville 33
220: Jaykup Durlin (Y) dec. Jake Johnson (E), 5-3, 3OT
285: Stephen Beattie (Y) dec. Kenny Peters (E), 5-2
106: Steven Haner (E) wbf.
113: Aaron Hoover (Y) wbf.
120: Jeb Fedorchuk (E) md. Chester Ciukaj (Y), 15-4
126: Tyler Gourley (E) dec. Judi Lewis (Y), 7-1
132: Dylan Baker (E) p. Chandler Flinn (Y), 1:17
138: Hunter Proctor (Y) dec. Levi Stanko (E), 2-0
145: Richard Knisley (E) wbf.
152: Zach Ishman (Y) p. Robbie Wilston (E), 1:06
160: Jeremy Lyon (Y) p. Cade Hefferman (E), 1:42
170: Josh Lewis (Y) p. Clay Coffaro (E), 0:54
182: Trevor Spicer (E) dec. Sage Sivak (Y), 15-12
195: Jordan Hefferman (E) wbf.