Owen J. Roberts had never beaten Boyertown in wrestling during Ryan Resnick's time on the team. In fact, none of the Wildcats had ever come out on the winning side against the Bears.
But that changed Wednesday night when host OJR got clutch performances from some lesser-known wrestlers and Resnick defeated a tough opponent in the second-to-last match to clinch a 37-33 win.
That boosted the Wildcats (3-0, 11-1) into first place in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division and snapped a 31-match PAC winning streak by the Bears (3-1, 15-2). Both teams will be back in action tonight in the opening round of the District 1-3A duals tournament.
"It's nice," said senior Resnick, who defeated Chris Berry 11-4 at 160 pounds to give his team an insurmountable 37-28 advantage. "It's the first time since I've been at the high school that we pulled out a victory. We've been working hard."
"It's been a long time; that's a great team," Roberts coach Stephen DeRafelo said about the three-time defending champion Bears. "They've been on top for a long time and there's a reason for that. They have great coaches and tough kids and their lineup is always deep."
But the Wildcats got off to an encouraging start, even though they lost the first match, when Tommy Dempsey held Jacob Miller to an 11-3 win.
"We started at 182," said DeRafelo. "He (Dempsey) has not been in the varsity lineup. He kept the score close. That really got our kids fired up, as much as if we had won the match."
"I think a lot of our kids who haven't made a name for themselves won this match for us," said Resnick. "They stayed off their back. They didn't get pinned. They pinned and they made points when we needed them to."
Nick Duliakas won by a technical fall to put the Wildcats on the board and Alex Acosta won by a fall at heavyweight for an 11-10 OJR edge. Boyertown took its largest lead at 25-17 when David Campbell won by a fall at 126 pounds.
But a technical fall by Antonio Petrucelli and pins by Cole Meredith and Dan Mancini put the OJR back on top at 34-25. The Wildcats led 34-28 when Resnick and Berry took the mat and the Roberts senior was not about to play it safe.
"I wrestle the same way every match," said Resnick. "I don't look at names. I don't look at records. I just believe in myself and try to score points."
The two teams split the 14 matches, but the Wildcats also got a pin from Luke Resnick for a total of four to go with the two technical falls.
"I think bonus points made the difference in the match," said Boyertown coach Pete Ventresca. "They got them. We didn't. I think their kids came out and wrestled very aggressively. I tip my hat to them. We've got to put it behind us. We've got Neshaminy tomorrow (tonight). We've got to focus on one match at a time."
"The season didn't end tonight," said DeRafelo, who still has Spring-Ford and Methacton left on the PAC schedule. "The next two weeks are a grind. That's the hard thing. We'll be back in here at 6:30 (this) morning getting our workout in."