Spring Grove High sophomore Alec Zorbaugh grew more nervous Thursday night.

His Rockets had lost a 17-point lead and trailed by four with just two bouts left after South Western's Logan Feeser pinned Zach Clingan. However, Derek Carlisle won a 7-1 decision to bring the Rockets within one going into Zorbaugh's night-ending match.

"I had it in my head I was going to take it to this kid," he said. "I was going to do what I had to do. And that happened."

That would be South Western forfeit of the final bout to give Spring Grove a 33-28 home win to claim the YAIAA Division I title.

The match ended that way because the Mustangs' expected starter in the 120-pound weight class broke an arm before the dual meet season began, and he wasn't cleared to wrestle after a doctor's visit Tuesday. His backup broke a leg about three weeks ago. South Western coach Brad Zeigler was forced to forfeit, turning a one-point lead into a five-point deficit.

"What are you going to do?" he said.

The ending was a nightmare for Zeigler, both literally and figuratively. Recently, he dreamed the Mustangs (10-4, 8-2) had a tie score heading into the 120-pound bout, but were forced to forfeit.

"It's pretty close," Zeigler said of his dream matching reality.

The loss ruined what had been a spirited Mustang comeback. South Western trailed 24-7 after eight matches, and Spring Grove (16-3, 10-0 YAIAA I) had scored nine consecutive points and 20 of 23.

But then South Western's Jerome Beers pinned Ian Piety in 30 seconds in the 195-pound bout, and teammate Aram Moffitt did the same to Michael Lentz in 5 minutes, 40 seconds. Devon Ackerman's 7-2 decision against Alex Guinn cut the Mustangs' margin to 24-22 with three matches left.

The Mustangs held their first lead, 28-24, after Feeser pinned Clingan.

"They're very talented at the upper weights and at the bottom," Spring Grove coach Tony Miller said. "I knew that could happen.

Spring Grove’s Mason Bentzel, bottom, tries to roll South Western’s Brandon Lookinbill into a takedown during Thursday’s dual meet at
Spring Grove's Mason Bentzel, bottom, tries to roll South Western's Brandon Lookinbill into a takedown during Thursday's dual meet at Spring Grove. The Rockets won, 33-28. (The Evening Sun - Clare Becker)
I knew it would be a tight match."

Added Zorbaugh: "It got more and more urgent (on the bench) as the match went on. As it got closer and closer, I got pretty nervous, but excited. But everyone went out and did what they had to do."

Carlisle defeated Cole Sterrett to bring the Rockets within one, 28-27, before Zorbaugh received a forfeit.

"I was mad at first because they weighed him in, but I guess a win's a win," he said. "It's pretty crazy to go out with a forfeit as a win."

Zeigler tried to stay positive following the match. After all, his team had performed well against a Rocket team that finished 10-0 in the division, and the Mustangs finished near the top of the YAIAA I standings.

"What's going through my head as the seconds started ticking away (after Zorbaugh had taken the mat), I just started thinking that I'm proud to say these kids stepped up," Zeigler said. "Every time we step on the mat, I want to see improvement. I did. It came to us down by a point, and we got to give up a forfeit. It's a dramatic way to end it."

   
at Spring Grove
SPRING GROVE 33, SO. WESTERN 28
   106 -- Logan Feeser, SW, pinned Zach Clingan, 1:16; 113 --Derek Carlisle, SG, dec. Cole Sterrett, 7-1; 120 -- Alec Zorbaugh, SG, won by forfeit; 126 -- Dakota Laughman, SG, maj. decision, Aaron Doll, 10-0; 132 -- Nick Klecker, SW, maj. decision Taylor Gardner, 8-0; 138 --Mason Bentzel, SG, tech. fall Brandon Lookinbill, 15-0 4:56; 145 --Michael Hartman, SG, dec. Bobby Wildasin, 4-1; 152 --Tyler Miller, SG, dec. Colton Rebert, 10-8; 160 --Tyler Cornbower, SW, dec. Austin Barley, 7-1; 170 --Jonathan Gross, SG, pinned Brady Shultz, 3:43; 182 --Levi Luckabaugh, SG, dec. Logan Bowman, 7-4; 195 --Jerome Beers, SW, pinned Ian Piety, 0:30; 220 -- Aram Moffitt, SW, pinned Michael Lentz, 5:40; 285 -- Devon Ackerman, SW, dec. Alex Guinn, 7-2.