Just 10 minutes into Thursday night's match, Chambersburg wrestling coach Doug Rine was fighting the urge to panic.
He had just watched the first bout, an expected Trojan win, go from a 6-2 lead in the third period to a pin for Mifflin County - a huge nine-point swing in a Mid Penn Commonwealth Division match that figured to be close all the way.
After plenty of hasty calculations, Rine decided to leave his lineup alone. His team made that decision work out just fine.
Chambersburg won five of the final seven bouts to pull out a 31-23 victory.
The win clinched at least a tie for second in the Commonwealth for the Trojans (12-3, 5-1 MPC) and virtually guaranteed a spot in the District 3 Class AAA team duals tournament for the first time ever.
Rine said, "I almost talked myself into doing some bumping starting at 152. But I decided I had to believe that our 14 were better than their 14."
Huskies coach Kirby Martin said, "There were some matches I thought we could win and some others I thought we could get some bonus points in. But we didn't."
Starting with Daulton Wilson's shocking pin at 106 - in which he trailed 6-2 after two periods, then caught Colin Runshaw in an arm bar and stuck him in 5:18 - the teams traded wins for the first eight bouts.
That left Mifflin County (9-4, 3-2 MPC) ahead 16-15 after Garett Hammond's first-period fall at 152.
Then came the first of three huge Chambersburg wins.
Calvin O'Farrell was reversed into a near cradle in the second period of his 160-pound match with the Huskies' Joe Knarr and fell behind 5-0. It was 6-3 in the third when O'Farrell waded in to Knarr for a headlock and tossed him down for a pin in 5:14, giving the Trojans the lead for good at 21-16.
"Calvin is always only a headlock away from a win," Rine said. "And he is very good at getting pins when he gets one."
At 170, Chambersburg's Adam Tardosky split four takedowns with McKenon Todaro; the difference was a second-period reversal that elevated him to a 7-6 victory.
Tardosky said, "I just did what I could to help the team; we knew this was going to be a good match. I've been working a lot on my feet and the coaches have been helping me, and tonight it paid off."
After Dontez King won by a 15-6 major decision at 182, the Trojans held a 28-16 advantage, but that meant Mifflin County was still alive and was a favorite in the final three bouts based on records.
And the Huskies set to work.
Tre Carter scored a 9-1 major when he hit a double-leg takedown at the buzzer at 195. Kyle Kahley followed with a 3-1 decision at 220 that brought his team to within 28-23, meaning Caleb Rhodes needed a pin at 285 to pull out the victory.
But Cameron Kiger had other ideas.
Kiger controlled Rhodes' head through two periods of not much action from the neutral position and kept the match scoreless. In the third, Kiger fought off Rhodes' attempt to turn him and gained a reversal. He later avoided a headlock try for a takedown and wrapped up a 7-2 clinching victory with a nearfall.
Rine said, "We wanted to stay off the mat as much as possible. We figured their kid (Rhodes) would take top in the third, and he did, but we were reasonably sure Cam could get out."
Kiger said, "When the score got to 28-20, I saw a few scenarios in my head and they all came down to me. It was scary, but coach told me to wrestle smart and I did. My goal was to wear him down. When I saw him shoot for the headlock it came on in a flash to just do what came natural to me."
Martin said, "I thought the loss at 160 was the big one. We're not as strong in the heavier weights, so we needed to win all of those close matches in the lightweights."
At 113, Tanner Shoap, ranked No. 2 in the state, had his hands full with Huskies freshman Hadley Hidlay, who had been ranked until an injury. In his first match back, Hidlay gave up only a third-period escape in a 1-0 defeat.
"With two wrestlers of that ability, I'm not surprised it was low-scoring," Martin said. "They both stayed in outstanding position."
Mifflin County won a tight one at 120 when Isaac Underhill's second-period escape led to a 1-0 win over Garrett Kyner, and the Trojans came right back at 126 when the only scoring in David Rump's 2-0 win over Noah Stewart was a counter for a takedown in the first period.
Rine said, "We were a little conservative tonight on purpose. We wrestled a lot of smart matches. We thought we had a chance for bonus points in a few places, but we had some other weights where we couldn't give them up."
NOTES: The Trojans' other winner was John Hughes at 138 - he caught Kevin Bair in a mearkle to take a 5-0 lead in a 9-2 victory Six of the 14 bouts were 0-0 after one period There were only four reversals all night Chambersburg led in takedowns, 19-11.
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and email@example.com.
Mifflin County 23
106 - Daulton Wilson (MC) p Colin Runshaw, 5:18 (2-6)
113 - Tanner Shoap (C) d Hadley Hidlay, 1-0
120 - Isaac Underhill (MC) d Garrett Kyner, 1-0
126 - David Rump (C) d Noah Stewart, 2-0
132 - Lucas Besch (MC) d David Law, 6-0
138 - John Hughes (C) d Kevin Bair, 9-2
145 - Brandon Wilson (MC) md James McKenzie, 13-5
152 - Garett Hammond (C) p Carter Sexton, 1:40 (10-1)
160 - Calvin O'Farrell (C) p Joe Knarr, 5:14 (5-6)
170 - Adam Tardosky (C) d McKenon Todaro, 7-6
182 - Dontez King (C) md Wyatt Renninger, 15-6
195 - Tre Carter (MC) md Devon Williams, 9-1
220 - Kyle Kahley (MC) d Collin Hansley, 3-1
285 - Cameron Kiger (C) d Caleb Rhodes, 7-2
Next match: Saturday, in Escape the Rock Tournament at Council Rock South, 9 a.m.