FORT WASHINGTON — The rematch is set.
Boyertown vs. Spring-Ford II, the sequel to their highly-anticipated clash for Pioneer Athletic Conference supremacy, will be playing before the local fans three days after the original. This time, it will be for District 1's Class AAA Duals Tournament championship.
The Bears and Rams set up the return engagement Friday by scoring pairs of wins in the tourney's quarterfinal and semifinal rounds at Upper Dublin. Boyertown punched its ticket with victories over Quakertown (55-6) and Council Rock South (41-20) while the Rams racked up wins against Pennridge (40-18) and Downingtown East (36-19).
It comes in the wake of Wednesday's duel between what were the league's remaining unbeaten squads. Boyertown won that round handily, 40-13, which understandably has the Spring-Ford wrestlers and their faithful fans spoiling for this next go-round.
"I think it's going to be exciting,' Joshua Boyer, the Rams' senior 285-pounder, said afterward. "The team is ready to try for some payback.'
While the longtime rivals made it an all-PAC final, a third league member was not able to remain in the hunt for a berth in the PIAA duals. Methacton fell twice in the double-elimination competition: To Downingtown East 36-17, then to Pennridge in wrestlebacks, 40-24.
"It's a great rivalry,' Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca said of his team's hookups with Spring-Ford. "It was a big win (Wednesday), beating a top program like theirs.'
The Bears knocked down five pins against the Panthers, all of them in the first period. Three of the falls were in succession between 195 and 220, staking the locals to an insurmountable 52-3 lead against a Quakertown unit whose points came at 152 and 113.
Garrett Mauger got the Boyertown pin parade going with his 1:39 drop of Brendan Rosenberger at 120, and Chris Berry continued it at 132 with a 1:14 cradling of Cullen Williamson. Seven bouts later — by which time the Bears were sitting atop an insurmountable 34-3 lead — William Scholl, Jordan Wertz and Jordan Wood dominated their Panther opponents in a combined time of three minutes.
"Our older guys told us the atmosphere here is big-time,' Boyertown 106-pounder Jakob Campbell said, "and that all the matches count, so you have to go after it.'
Campbell did just that in his matchup with Quakertown's Collyn Dorney, one of the region's top-ranked wrestlers in the weight class. Campbell battled Dorney to a 1-1 tie in regulation, then scored a takedown in the one-minute overtime period for a 3-1 victory that effectively capped Boyertown's domination of the Panthers.
"Our whole team is in great shape,' he said. "With our conditioning, we wear everybody down.'
Against Council Rock South, the Bears (21-0) fell behind by a nine-point margin through the first three weights. But Eddie Kriczky decked Louis Martoccio 1:16 into the 138-pound bout, and Boyertown's latest roll was under way.
Before it was over, the Bears scored two more pins courtesy of Jordan Wertz and Wood — both coming in the first minute of their respective bouts — and a technical fall by Cody Richmond at 160.
"Council Rock South is real tough. They have tough kids, and they're well-coached,' Ventresca said. "They're hard-nosed and don't stop out there. And they're young, which means they will be dangerous for a couple years to come.'
Jimmy Frank's pin at 106 was a pivotal one for the Rams against East. Coming in the second period against James Strommer, it staked them to a 27-19 lead prior to Ryan Hayes (pin at 113) and Hunter Mitch (decision at 120) closing out the win over the second-seeded Cougars.
"Both teams wrestled hard,' head coach Tim Seislove noted, "but our kids rose to the occasion.'
Spring-Ford (20-1) found itself trailing Pennridge by a 9-0 count through the first three weights, but it responded with 16 points in the next four. That lead got cut to 16-15 after 160, at which time the Rams rang up another 21 points in succession for a match-clinching 37-15 advantage.
Steven Rice's pin at 170, and Frankie Krauss' technical fall at 152, were the big point-producers for the locals, who also benefited from major decisions by Nick Beauchamp (132) and Jon Cooper (145). They also won five decisions by point margins of four or less.
"Our goal was to get to the finals this year,' Seislove said. "That tough loss Wednesday motivated us.'
Methacton's long night started after Eric Straup opened the match with Downingtown East by scoring a 4-2 decision of Jube McDowell. The Cougars then proceeded to win eight of the next 10 weights, the run interrupted only by Joe Staley's major decision at 145 and Devin Bradley's three-point verdict at 182.
Tracey Green (285) and Bryce Reddington (113) added other decisions — Reddington's a four-pointer — but it wasn't enough to offset East's big lead.
It was more of the same for the Warriors in wrestlebacks. They were unable to recover from Pennridge's initial 13-point surge at the start, though Joe Staley and Tristan Bradley came up with pins at 145 and 160, respectively.
"Obviously, we didn't want this kind of result,' head coach A.J. Maida said. "But I'm proud of the kids' effort.'
Spring-Ford and Boyertown will face off at 3 p.m., alongside the district's Class AA title match.
Follow Jeff Stover on Twitter at @MercuryXStover.