BUCKTOWN - He was placed in the situation several times in past years.
In a number of them, it was on the downside. But when the circumstance arose Wednesday, Jordan Stierly emerged on top - much to the delight of the Owen J. Roberts wrestling team and its fans.
Stierly went into the 160-pound bout against Perkiomen Valley's Jacob Beitler with an opportunity to administer the clincher in this Pioneer Athletic Conference opener. Extended to overtime by Beitler, the Roberts junior came on strong in the OT frame to set the stage for the Wildcats' eventual 35-21 victory.
"The other times I'd be in an overtime match, I lost because I didn't do anything," Stierly, basking in the joy of a 5-3 decision, said afterward. "I've been working harder this year, to have energy at the end of the match."
Stierly went against Beitler with Owen J. holding a 29-21 lead and two weights left on the night's card. Reversing off a second-quarter bottom start, Stierly trailed by a 3-2 count at the same juncture in the third, Beitler returning the favor.
His escape of Beitler's ride forged a 3-3 deadlock at the end of regulation. With Beitler shooting for a single-leg takedown in the fourth period, Stierly spun for control and the deciding two points.
"He had me," Stierly said of Beitler, "but I blocked him off. I sealed him off, and got behind him."
Stierly's win came in the midst of a four-match sweep from 145 to 171, enabling Owen J to dispatch a fired-up, physical PV squad that had the upper hand through the first six bouts. And in the weights they lost on decisions to the midway point and beyond, the Vikings were in every one save for a handful of points.
"They were very tough and excited, out for blood," OJR head coach Steve DeRafelo noted. "We need to be better than that. Fortunately, our guys on top found ways to win."
The Roberts comeback from an 18-9 deficit through 119 kicked off with Will Bentley holding off Hassan Elghawy, 6-3. Jordan Moser followed at 130 with a penalty point-filled 7-5 verdict over Mike Radicioni, and Danny Mongold's 12-5 win over Eric Hassinger forced an 18-18 tie through 135.
Jordan Deane stemmed that run at 140, giving PV a 6-2 decision over Illya Tracy. But Connor McCormick's second-period pin of Mark McShane at 145 staked OJR to its first lead since the 189-pound opener (24-21), and Nick Fuschino rolled up a 3:53 technical fall on Ryan Beyer at 152.
"They (Vikings) came out strong," Stierly noted. "We were trying our best to keep them off. The last four (bouts) sealed the deal."
Stierly's clincher preceded Nathan Derix's 6-4 win over Bobby Angst at 171, one the Wildcat senior secured with a reversal and two back points at the end of the third period.
"He's worked hard," DeRafelo said of Stierly, "but the last two years he was on the wrong end of those matches. Tonight, he found a way to win."
Perk Valley's early points came from pins by Jay Geyer at 215 (over Darrell Davis) and Gavin Milligan at 119 (over Cole Stewart), around a forfeit of the 103-pound bout to Rich Tevlin. Close decisions by Scott Syrex (189), heavyweight Randy Keehn and Jon Dempsey (112) - the margins four points or lower - helped Roberts keep pace with its guests.
"We need to wrestle better than this against teams like Pottstown, Upper Perk and Spring-Ford," DeRafelo said. "They're at a different level, and we're not."
The main change Roberts made from its announced lineup was to move Dempsey into the vacancy at 112, leaving 103 open. "Some of them (adjustments) paid off, and some didn't," DeRafelo noted. ... Deane and Beitler were both in action after being absent from the PV lineup in last weekend's Viking Duals.