"It's a good win for us," said Northern Lebanon coach Rusty Wallace. "Our goal coming into the year was to win the section championship. It's nice to beat some teams we haven't beat in awhile...Just change the expectations, change the attitude. These guys expect to win and want to win."
The win puts Northern Lebanon in the drivers seat for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Three crown, currently 3-0 in the section, 6-1 overall.
Annville-Cleona, meanwhile, drops to 10-4 overall, 2-1 in LL Section Three with the loss.
"I thought it would go like this. Ebb and flow," said Annville-Cleona coach Mike Miller of the match. "We are strong in places, they are strong in places. It's going to be a matter of who wins the toss-up weights. They have 4-5 real good kids that we don't match up well with and they won the toss-up matches."
The night opened up with a bang at 120 pounds when Northern Lebanon's Kody Kreiser overcame a 5-2 deficit after two periods to win 15-10 in overtime.
Trailing 5-2, Kreiser quickly reversed Annville-Cleona's Orlando Bellaman, but after getting called for a full-nelson trailed 7-4. Soon after the whistle sounded to resume action, Kreiser took down Bellaman and gained three back points to go ahead 9-7 with the clock winding down.
Kreiser looked poised to take a victory but with about two seconds left Bellaman reversed into a headlock to tie the bout at nine heading to overtime.
Electing to start on the bottom position after a scoreless first overtime, Bellaman quickly escaped to go ahead 10-9, but then Kreiser struck. Kreiser quickly took down Bellaman into a pinning situation, taking a 14-10 lead.
"That was a big match," said Wallace of the 120-pound opening matchup. "Orlando is one of their better kids. Kody wrestled for us as a freshman last year, took his lumps and got some experience. He's 8-1 in his last nine matches, he's really turned it on."
"It would've been nice to win that one," said Miller of the opening match. "It could've went either way."
Sophomore Caleb Blatt continued the Vikings' hot start as he major decisioned Dylan Himmelberger 15-2 at 126 pounds, putting the Vikings up 7-0. Annville-Cleona senior Phil Corle, took out Freshman Quinn Blatt at 132-pounds 5-2 to cut the deficit to 7-3.
After that A-C put up back-to-back pins to go up 15-7 after Dalton Himmelberger pinned Joey Emborski at 3:56 and Jeff Inman pinned Holden Zeigler at 1:35.
In a swing match at 152 pounds, Northern Lebanon's Craig Spitler stunned the Annville-Cleona faithful just 17 seconds before the final buzzer, pinning Luke Fies at the 5:43 mark to bring Northern Lebanon back to within two, 15-13 heading into Evan Daub's match.
Daub quickly took control in his bout against Tanis Pelligrini at 160-pounds, turning him to his back five total times in the match, the last resulting in a pin at 4:35.
At the start of the third period, trailing 16-2, Pelligrini wisely chose to start in neutral, as it was his best chance to only give up the 5-point technical fall rather than the 6-point pinfall - crucial points at that point in the match. Daub just would not be denied.
As he took down Pelligrini, he immediately turned it into a pinning situation, eventually gaining the pinfall.
Annville-Cleona regained the lead for the final time in the ensuing match when Justin Ulrich pinned Ryan Kelliher in 3:48 at 170-pounds after Kelliher had a 7-0 lead at the time of the pin.
The Vikings didn't let down as they registered four straight pinfall victories, the first a Tyler Sellers pin in 4:40 over Brandon Light at 182, then Derek DiAngelis quickly took care of Anthony Lehman in 22 seconds at 195 pounds.
At 220, freshman Matt Vines pinned Kole Orfino at 2:48 then senior heavyweight Anthony Deyo put an exclamation point on the night bypinning Austin Meyer in just 53 seconds to seal the victory.
"Some of the guys in the back told those guys that lost, 'It's okay, we got your back,' and they really mean it," said Wallace of the team picking each other up after tough losses. "They pick up each other's slack, and they're there for one another and that's what makes them tough."
Annville-Cleona took the final two bouts of the night by pinfall as Josh Renninger pinned Dustin Breidegan in 1:10 and Matt Darok pinned Issac Young in 1:32.
"We pulled some out that I didn't think we were going to and we lost some I didn't think we were going to lose," said Miller of his recollection of the match. "I think both teams wrestled well, there were exciting matches."
"One thing about this team is they don't know any better but to just keep plugging away," said Wallace of the team's unfamiliarity with this situation. "Their motto is family. They would literally die for one another, I actually believe that. That's what makes a good team. You have some things that don't go your way and everyone else just rallies."