FORT WASHINGTON — Eddie Kriczky came off the mat Saturday with the biggest smile on his face.
Winning a district-level championship is capable of making grins sprout. Being the clincher tends to make those grins stretch from ear to ear.
Kriczky's smile was well-validated. He had just scored the clinching points for Boyertown against Spring-Ford, securing the ultimate 31-21 victory in the Class AAA title match of the District 1 Duals Tournament.
"It's the biggest clinching I've ever had,' Kriczky said of his 9-0 major decision against Adam Dombrosky. "I would say so.'
Three days earlier, Boyertown had taken a big step toward completing a perfect Pioneer Athletic Conference regular season by rolling over this same Spring-Ford unit, 40-13. And while the final winning margin was closer this time around, it was yet another dominating performance in a campaign chock-full of them.
A 15-point run from 195 to 106 was key to the Bears (22-0) winning their first 1-AAA duals title since 2010. The 21-6 lead forged at that point was cut by the Rams (20-2) winning at 113 and 120 before Boyertown prevailed at the next three weights.
The capper was Kriczky's to score. Having faced Dombrosky the last go-round — he scored a 4-0 decision to open the match — the Boyertown senior got an opening takedown, reversed off a bottom start in the second, added three back points after that, then scored one last takedown in the third to boost his team's lead to 31-12.
"The main difference was, this was at the end of the match,' he said. "I saw the team needed fire. I like to rise to the occasion, to put the team on my back.'
Facing a Spring-Ford lineup spoiling for the rematch, Boyertown had plenty of grapplers ready to tote the load.
Jordan Wood got the team's lone pin in his encore bout with 220-pounder Mason Romano, and Jordan Wertz outlasted the Rams' Joshua Boyer in a 3-1 verdict at 285. Jakob Campbell edged Jimmy Frank, 2-1, at 106 before Lucas Miller (126), Chris Berry (132) and Kriczky rung up decisions by a combined score of 16-0.
Not to be overlooked were the match-opening wins by Gregg Harvey at 160 (9-3 over Steven Rice) and Cody Richmond at 170 (4-1 over Taylor Westlake), or William Scholl's 4-0 verdict over Nick Perri at 195 — one that got Boyertown a 9-6 lead that wasn't topped the rest of the way.
"They have hard-nosed kids who are well-coached,' Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca said. "But our kids stepped up. I was pleased with that. It was a heated match, with a lot of intensity.'
Spring-Ford made several runs at Boyertown, starting with Brendan Zimmie's match-tying pin of Michael Fretz at 195. Ryan Hayes and Hunter Mitch got the Rams back in contention with their respective decisions over David Campbell and Garrett Mauger at 113 and 120, closing the gap to 21-13.
At the end, after the Bears mathematically eliminated them from the win, the Rams closed with Jonathan Cooper's one-point decision of Hunter Vogels at 145 and Frankie Krauss' drop of Evan Campbell at 152.
"Our kids battled all weekend,' SF head coach Tim Seislove said. "We made it close, but to beat this team, you have to get more than a couple upsets.'
For his part, Seislove was happy with his third-seeded team's whole body of work this weekend. It was coming off Friday wins over Pennridge (37-15) and second-seeded Downingtown East (36-19) to break a string of duals appearances that fell short of title contention.
"We've been to the semis seven or eight times,' he said, "but this is our first trip to the finals. Getting to the finals ... our kids wrestled well all weekend.'
Boyertown, in turn, is continuing its upswing from its last district duals championship. From consolation-quarterfinal elimination in 2011 through last year's third-place finish, the Bears are shooting for even more when they head to Hershey later this week.
"Losing in the semifinals last year ... I didn't like that,' Wood said. "This year, it's good.'
The Class AAA third-place match saw Council Rock South top Garnet Valley, 26-22. ... In the Class AA title match, Lower Moreland handled Bishop McDevitt, 21-9. ... The top four Triple-A teams all qualified for states. Spring-Ford, South and Garnet Valley all face preliminary-round matches Monday while Boyertown opens Thursday at Hershey against the District 2 champion.
Follow Jeff Stover on Twitter at @MercuryXStover.