POTTSTOWN - The Archbishop Wood Vikings wanted to win the Philadelphia Catholic League and District 12 Class 3A wrestling championships for a couple of reasons.
Wood hadn't won a PCL title since 2002, and a district crown would have sent the Vikings straight to Hershey for the PIAA tournament.
Instead, with a loss to Father Judge in the league final, Wood was relegated to a tough first-round state matchup with Owen J. Roberts.
"We missed an opportunity to get here the prestigious way. We wrestled the hard road," said Wood coach Chris Meister.
The outcome was not a surprise. Owen J. Roberts overcame an early deficit, winning seven consecutive bouts on its way to a 46-21 victory.
Meister was not happy afterward.
"We had a chance. We just didn't perform. We didn't wrestle," he said.
Wood (13-8) will be off until the PCL individual championships Feb. 18 at La Salle High. The District 12 meet is Feb. 25 at Abraham Lincoln. The Northeast Regional is March 3-4 at Bethlehem Liberty.
Owen J. Roberts (17-2) advanced to Thursday's action at Hershey's Giant Center. The Wildcats' reward for beating Wood? District 11 champion Nazareth.
"They're on a different level," said coach Steve DeRafelo. "But it'll be a lot of fun up there. We can compete up there. You want to represent your school well."
OJR has wrestled seven matches in 11 days, including regular-season wins over rivals Boyertown and Methacton and three consecutive victories in the District One Duals to claim third place after a quarterfinal loss.
"We were a little worried," DeRafelo said of the Wood match. "We had four emotional dual meets this weekend."
Wood entered the match with some momentum, having beaten Central and Northeast to finish second in District 12.
The Vikings owned a 15-12 lead on the Wildcats after five bouts.
Connor Bishop pinned his opponent in 16 seconds at 220 pounds. T.J. England posted a 13-3 major decision at 106. Max Shaffer earned a 15-0 technical fall in 5:46 at 113.
"I was going for the pin the whole time. I did the best I could and got a tech fall," Shaffer said.
But OJR won eight of the final nine bouts. Wood's only win came at 170, where Harry Green pinned his opponent in 20 seconds.
"It's always the goal to win no matter what," Shaffer said. "If everyone wrestled to their potential, we might have been able to win."
Both teams juggled their lineups and that's when OJR started to pull away.
"At 120, they didn't show Luke Resnick. That affected the rest of the lineup," Shaffer said of the OJR standout, who won by technical fall at 126.
Meister's message to his wrestlers afterward?
"He told us it's how we respond to losses," Shaffer said.
Meister took away some positives.
"We're growing as a team," he said.
Shaffer believes Wood can have a nice postseason.
"We'll all be wrestling at our weight classes. No more bumping," he said. "We have a great tournament team. I think the whole team can make regionals. Then, the goal is always states, to make it to Hershey."
Here are the results of the other first-round matchups: North Allegheny 73, Carrick 6; Bethlehem Catholic 54, Cumberland Valley 12 and Central Dauphin 40, Downingtown West 21.