Clarion U. Wrestling Upsets No. 24 Pitt on Criteria

CLARION, Pa. – With only two bouts left, Dominic Rigous won by fall with just one second remaining in the first period, and that result ended up being the difference as the Clarion wrestling team defeated 24th-ranked Pittsburgh 18-18 with the criteria tiebreaker at Tippin Gymnasium on Sunday.

With the victory, Clarion finishes the dual match season with a 7-12 record, and will next compete at the Eastern Wrestling League championships.

The Golden Eagles and Panthers split the 10 matches on the card but Clarion earned the win thanks to Rigous’s win by fall in the 184-pound match. In general, the match was a close one, with the Golden Eagles claiming two wins by sudden victory and losing one match by riding time. Clarion trailed 12-3 after the first four matches of the day but won four of the last six.

With Clarion trailing 15-9 entering the 184-pound match, Rigous pulled off the win by fall over Zach Bruce of Cranberry High School to tie the team match and fire up the crowd. The two spent much of the first period feeling each other out until Rigous managed to finally bring Bruce down late. He wrangled for position with him until finally getting Bruce on his back with just a second remaining in the period, bringing the crowd to its feet as the official indicated the pin.

Dustin Conti was equal to the task in the 197-pound match, putting Clarion ahead for the first time on Sunday with an exciting victory over Nick Bonaccorsi in sudden victory. He went ahead 4-3 early in the third period with a takedown, but Bonaccorsi reversed it to go up by a 5-4 score. Conti notched the escape to tie the score and to send the match into sudden victory, with the junior toppling Bonaccorsi with a double-leg takedown to record the 7-5 decision.

Clarion led the match 18-15 heading into the heavyweight bout and Evan Daley delivered, wrestling Ryan Solomon to a near-standstill throughout the entire match. Solomon won by decision 7-5 but Daley won the war, fighting off numerous aggressive shots from Solomon to prevent any bonus points for the Panthers.

Michael Pavasko provided the other sudden victory decision for the Golden Eagles, winning the last home match of his career in dramatic fashion. Pavasko and Te’Shan Campbell went back and forth in the 174-pound match, with Campbell going up 4-1 after a reversal to open the second period. Pavasko got the escape point and took Campbell down before the end of the period to tie the score at 4, and the two grapplers finished the third period tied at 5. Just 35 seconds into the sudden victory period, Pavasko took down Campbell for two points to win the decision 7-5 and cut Pittsburgh’s lead to 15-9, giving Rigous the opportunity to tie the team match in the next bout.

Brock Zacherl recorded the first win of the day for the Golden Eagles, cutting Pittsburgh’s lead to 9-3 with a decision over Nick Zannetta at 141 pounds. He took down Zannetta early in the first period and held on for the remainder, picking up 1:30 of riding time while keeping a solid grip on his opponent. Zannetta chose the down position to open the second period but still could not escape Zacherl, who led by a 2-0 score after five minutes of action. Zacherl started down in the third period and got his own escape to go up 3-0, and the addition of the riding time at the end of the match afforded Zacherl the 4-0 decision.

Jake Keller recorded an important win further down the line, utilizing a big second period to defeat Ronnie Garbinsky in the 157-pound match. Neither wrestler scored in the first period and it looked like things might remain scoreless through two before Keller turned the tables on Garbinsky, scoring the reversal and tilting him on his back for four points to take a 6-0 advantage. The two traded points the rest of the match, with Keller getting the best of Garbinsky by way of an 8-5 decision.

Clarion 18 (criteria), No. 24 Pittsburgh 18
125: LJ Bentley (Pitt) over Patrick DeWitt (Clarion) MD 12-3
133: Dom Forys (Pitt) over Roshaun Cooley (Clarion) TF 17-2 4:23
141: Brock Zacherl (Clarion) over Nick Zannetta (Pitt) Dec. 4-0
149: Robert Lee (Pitt) over Brodie Zacherl (Clarion) Dec. 5-2
157: Jake Keller (Clarion) over Ronnie Garbinsky (Pitt) Dec. 8-5
165: Cody Wiercioch (Pitt) over Evan DeLong (Clarion) Dec. 13-12
174: Michael Pavasko (Clarion) over Te’Shan Campbell (Pitt) Dec. 7-5 SV-1
184: Dominic Rigous (Clarion) over Zach Bruce (Pitt) Fall 2:59
197: Dustin Conti (Clarion) over Nick Bonaccorsi (Pitt) Dec. 7-5 SV-1
285: Ryan Solomon (Pitt) over Evan Daley (Clarion) Dec. 7-5

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