It was marquee battle between Ian Brown of Hanover and Trevor Hernandez of Biglerville at 126 pounds. Both formidable featherweights earned berths in the PIAA Championship last season. Both made changes in their weight during the offseason.
Both grapplers countered each other's manipulative moves. The heavily-billed bout drew blood, both figuratively and literally. Hernandez was tended to during a pair of momentum-stabbing blood stops.
"Trevor's faster than I thought he was, so that (halt in action) allowed me to think things over. It kind of gave me a chance to re-think what I was doing. I try and stop him first, then I keep on him. I don't like when people come at me. I like to be the guy to come at them," Brown said.
Keeping the pressure on Hernandez at a furious pace, Brown executed a momentum-altering move when he slammed Hernandez to the mat. Hernandez, he of veteran savvy, was able to counter and fend Brown off over the ensuing two minutes.
As Brown continued to keep the pressure on, a little voice inside delivered a simple message.
"I'm in control now. That's what I told myself," explained Brown, who grappled at 106 pounds last year and at 132 when he pinned Suburban's Andrew Toman in 1:28 on Tuesday.
Brown remained composed, laser-focused, kept gunning for Hernandez' knees and refused to let the pressure wilt. It all resulted in a 1-0 decision victory, which lifted the crowd into an eardrum-killing crescendo.
"I lifted three, four days a week before the season. I knew I had to come in at a healthy weight," Brown said. "Football helped me stay in shape. I wanted to come back bigger, stronger and faster. That was the goal."
In a duel of unbeaten YAIAA Division II records, Biglerville was the bigger, stronger, and faster team overall.
The Canners were sparked by Dustin Grubbs' pin of Ian Wheeler. Grubbs displayed workmanlike persistence, storming back from a slug-slow start against Wheeler. Though Wheeler locked up on his opponent early, Grubbs capitalized on late surges and delivered the pivotal pin in 4:28.
During a battle of the behemoths, Biglerville's Trevor Stover scored a 2-0 victory over Anthony Aguilar in the 285-pound weight class. An escape and a penalty point ended up serving as the deciding factors.
It's been a big week for a big man. Stover posted a commendable, 28-second pin of Eastern York's Kasey Snell on Wednesday.
The Canners' Donnie Hurda was aggressive out of the chute, pinning Robert Shafer in 2:50. Hurda stepped onto the mat with his heart racing and eyes burning. He initiated the action and quickly put forth an assortment of moves.
At 138 pounds, Biglerville's Laike Gardner, one night after winning by forfeit, registered a 12-0 decision over Tyler Shafer.
In the 145-pound decision, Hanover's Brandon Shearer handcuffed Tyler Asper. With a composed display of reaction speed and good positioning, Shearer kept Asper in check on the way to a 14-1 major decision.
Ian Brown won the battle. Biglerville won the war.
BIGLERVILLE 49, HANOVER 16
126 -- Ian Brown, Han, dec. Trevor Hernandez, 1-0; 132 -- Jasper Hankey, Big, won by forfeit; 138 -- Laike Gardner, Big, maj. decision Tyler Shafer, 12-0; 145 -- Brandon Shearer, Han, maj. decision Tyler Asper, 14-1; 152 -- Dustin Grubbs, Big, pinned Ian Wheeler, 4:28; 160 -- Tyler Lieberum, Big, pinned Brad Irvin, 4:52; 170 -- Zach Martin, Han, dec. Josh Asper, 3-1; 182 -- Donnie Hurda, Big, pinned Robert Shafer, 2:50; 195 -- Derek Wolford, Han, pinned Eric Showers, 0:36; 220 -- Juan Martinez, Big, dec. Justice Forbes, 8-1; 285 -- Trevor Stover, Big, dec. Tony Aguilar, 2-0; 106 -- Brady Mentzer, Big, pinned Sasha Watson, 5:45; 113 -- Danny May, Big, dec. Giuliano Graziosi, 6-2; 120 -- Colton McKinney, Big, pinned Bryan Deven, 1:34.