BUCKTOWN - The Pioneer Athletic Conference title is out of their reach, and the District 1-AAA Duals Tournament quarterfinal is still another day away. But don't tell Hoyt Emmons and Nick Edmonson - who have been delivering a mighty one-two punch for Upper Perkiomen the past few weeks - or anyone else in the Indians' lineup, there was no significance to Wednesday night's match at Owen J. Roberts.
They proved it, too.
After the host Wildcats tried to put some thrills back into their annual Pioneer Athletic Conference dual, Emmons and Edmonson ignited a flurry with a pair of pins to deflate OJR's comeback hopes and lead the Indians to a 50-24 win that, most from both sides of the mat agreed, wasn't even that close.
Despite two pins sandwiched around a forfeit that produced an early 18-0 spread, OJR got to within 18-9 on Connor McCormick's decision and Nick Fuschino's pin.
However, Emmons needed just 1:39 for his fall at 160 pounds and Edmonson followed with a 5:22 fall at 171 ... and the Indians - as they have so often in the past - were on their way to their third straight win.
"We don't look ahead," said Edmonson. "We take it one step at a time. We worked hard all week for this one, and it showed in the match."
"We look at what we have to do now," added Emmons. "We're trying to make some noise now. We want to try and make something out of this season."
Well, the Indians (5-2, 14-9 overall) certainly have looked like a different team since the disheartening setback to Spring-Ford two weeks ago. Both Edmonson and Emmons said the loss was a bit of a turning point for the Indians - especially in the practice room. And head coach Tom Hontz, with as sharp an eye as anyone, has seen the improvement as well.
"Since that (Spring-Ford) match they've kind of turned it up a notch in the practice room," Hontz said. "I know they want to finish with a flurry.
"This group just needed to learn to prepare, and they're finally starting to do that. Coming in here we knew there were two teams (with 4-2 records), and we knew (OJR) had some talented people. They knew they had to be aggressive, and they were."
Unsung David Cannon apparently knew, getting the Indians off to a solid start with a pin at 130. After a forfeit to Marty McStravick at 135, freshman Cody Ambrose - who provided Upper Perkiomen with a huge win in last week's District 1-AAA Duals debut - was about to lose by a technical fall when he came up with a reverse and headlock for a pin at 140.
But that's when McCormick posted his 7-3 decision at 145 and Fuschino needed just 49 seconds for his pin at 152.
After Emmons and Edmonson were done, though, the Wildcats (4-2, 5-8) would survive just three of the final seven bouts - Scott Syrek's pin at 189, Jon Dempsey's 4-0 shutout at 103 and Will Bentley's forfeit at 112. But before Dempsey strolled onto the mat, it was already out of the Wildcats' reach.
That's because in between Syrek's pin and Dempsey was a forfeit to Joey Feldbruegge and a pin by Jared Bennett to create a 42-15 spread.
"You just can't (Upper Perkiomen) points like we did," said OJR head coach Steve DeRafelo. "They're tough, and they're still at a level that we aren't at.
"I feel bad for our seniors because we didn't wrestle as well as we could have. But you can't give up pins and give up the forfeits like we did ... not to them."
Upper Perkiomen, now ready to take on Downingtown West in Friday night's quarterfinals of the district duals, will gladly accept what's given, though.
"We came in here focused," Edmonson said. "Coach (Hontz) keeps us in line that way. But we never take anyone for granted, either."
Never have, never will.
"We know, in all likelihood, we're not going to be going to the state duals," Hontz said. "But everyone still wants a piece of us. So we still have to show up. We still have to put out some quality and show that we're still a quality team. It's a matter of pride ... and pride is huge."
NOTES The final two bouts went to Upper Perkiomen as Marty McStravick posted a technical fall at 119 and Garrett Fellman jumped in front 5-0 and held off Jordan Moser, 5-4, in the 112-pound finale. ... OJR honored its three seniors - Bentley, Nate Derix and McCormick - prior to the match. McCormick just last weekend became the fifth Wildcat to reach 100 career wins. Bentley upped his total to 93 Wednesday night.