Trailing by eight points against Franklin with two weight classes remaining, host Lansdowne got a pin from freshman Riley Bozeman, at 106 pounds, and major decision from senior Desean Hunter, at 113, and emerged with a thrilling 35-33 victory on Thursday night.
“It feels awesome and we finally get the monkey off our back beating Franklin,” Lansdowne coach George Dunn said. “ I don’t think we’ve ever beaten them. These guys deserve this. They’ve been working hard all year.”
The win improved the unbeaten Vikings dual-meet record to 12-0, while the Indians dropped to 9-2.
Lansdowne is currently second in the Class 3A North Dual meet standings and Franklin is third, so a rematch could be on deck in the postseason.
This match was electric from the start, but when Franklin’s Elijah Solomon bumped up a weight class, from 220 to 285, and pinned Lansdowne’s James Alston, the Indians held a 33-25 lead.
“He [Solomon] is actually one of our most confident wrestlers and I try to preach that in the room is that people have the tools, you just have to be able to use them and he’s starting to get that,” Franklin coach Vince Crocker said.
At 106, Bozeman (20-0) was nursing a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee, but he forged a 14-1 lead into the third period over Isaiah Shedrick and pinned him with 57 seconds left.
“Once I got him down I could control him,” said Bozeman, noting it was the biggest win of his career.
He did it after a layoff.
“This was his first match back in three weeks so that was big for him,” Dunn said.
Lansdowne trailed 33-31 when Hunter took the mat for the final match and he was prepared.
“Franklin is always my toughest match to wrestle, so when they said I was going last, I knew it was going to come down to me, so I knew I had to do my best, 150 percent,” said Hunter, who won a 14-2 major decision and improved to 22-3 this season.
“We knew that was a tossup match and it came down to Hunter just wanted it more,” Dunn said. “He’s a senior now and he went after it. I give him a lot of credit, that’s a lot of pressure for a young kid.”
Earlier in the match, it was Franklin with the dramatic endings.
At 126, Lansdowne’s Jacob Lipscomb led Shane Hudson 9-8, after a takedown with 10 seconds left, but Hudson got a reversal and two points for a near-fall and earned a 12-10 decision.
That cut Lansdowne’s 6-0 lead, that came on a forfeit win at 120, in half.
At 132, Lansdowne’s Damontez Rawlings won a 13-5 major decision and the Vikings led 10-3.
At 138, Franklin’s Cole Kreshtool pulled off another heart-throbbing win over Peyton Collins when he turned a 6-3 deficit into a 7-6 victory with a takedown and two near-fall points in the final seconds.
Josh Kreshtool (145) pinned John Black in the second period, giving Franklin a 12-10 edge.
But Lansdowne’s Matt Mendez (152) scored a takedown and two back points at the buzzer to escape with a 13-12 decision over Jahki Hylton and give the Vikings a 13-12 lead.
Franklin’s Clark Vandergrift (160) earned a pin, but Lansdowne’s Kyrie Brown (171) responded with one of his own and the Vikings led 19-18.
Franklin’s Kamil Patterson (182) defeated Anthony Brown, 10-5 in double-overtime and the Indians regained the lead, 21-19.
Herberth Franco pinned Isaiah Gardner in 2:45, at 195, and the Vikings led, 25-21.
Franklin rallied with back to back pins from Robert Garrett (220) and Solomon (285) giving them its 33-25 advantage and setting the stage for the Vikings dramatic comeback.