Clarion wrestling defeats No. 24 Pitt

The Clarion Golden Eagles wrestling team defeated the No. 24 ranked Pittsburgh Panthers.

The score was 18-18.

However, Clarion’s Dominic Rigous pinned Pitt’s Zach Bruce in the 184-pound match with one second left in the first period.

This was the criteria tiebreaker that led to the Golden Eagles’ victory.

To start off, Clarion’s Patrick DeWitt took on LJ Bentley of Pitt in the 125-pound match.

The match ended up 12-3 in favor of Bentley.

In the 133-pound match, Roshaun Cooley lost to Pitt’s Dom Forys by a score of 17-2.

Brock Zacherl picked up the first of Clarion’s five wins with a victory over Nick Zannetta in the 141-pound match.

Zacherl’s 4-0 win shortened Pittsburgh’s overall lead to 9-3.

By a score of 5-2, Robert Lee of Pitt earned the team its third win over Clarion’s Brodie Zacherl in the 149-pound match.

The 157-pound match resulted in a win for Clarion’s Jake Keller over Pitt’s Ronnie Garbinsky.

This match remained scoreless through the whole first period.

However, in the second period, Keller recorded the first points to take a 6-0 lead. He would keep that lead and end the match with an 8-5 victory.

The next match at 165-pounds resulted in Pitt’s Cody Wiercioch defeating Clarion’s Evan DeLong by a score of 13-12.

The tide began to turn in Clarion’s favor beginning with the 174-pound match.

Clarion senior Michael Pavasko, in his final home match of his career, defeated Pitt’s TeShan Campbell in a back-andforth match.

With the match tied at 5-5 after the third period, the match went into the sudden victory period.

It took Pavasko 35 seconds to take down Campbell in the sudden victory period, which decreased Pitt’s lead to 15-9.

This gave the Golden Eagles an opportunity to make a comeback.

Rigous took advantage of this opportunity in the 184-pound match.

He won by fall, pinning Pitt’s Zach Bruce with one second remaining in the first period.

This turned out to be the deciding factor in Clarion’s win.

In the 197-pound match, Dustin Conti of Clarion defeated Pitt’s Nick Bonaccorsi by decision in a 7-5 victory.

Although, the match went into sudden victory, Conti was triumphant with a double-leg takedown.

Dustin Conti goes for the takedown. Jon Hyatt / The Clarion Call
Dustin Conti goes for the takedown.
Jon Hyatt / The Clarion Call

This put Clarion ahead for the first time in the match against Pittsburgh.

The final match, at 285-pounds, resulted in Ryan Solomon of Pitt defeating Clarion’s Evan Daley by a score of 7-5.

Even with Solomon winning the match, Daley’s ability to prevent Pitt from acquiring any bonus points ended the match in an 18-18 tie.

However, the critical pin from Rigous provided Clarion with the tiebreaker to defeat the 24th-ranked Panthers.

After this win, the Golden Eagles finished the dual match season at 7-12.

The next step for the Clarion wrestling team is the Eastern Wrestling League championships.

Pavasko, who was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference and Eastern Wrestling League Wrestler of the Week, stated what this win over Pittsburgh provided to the team.

“This win gives us a huge swing of momentum going into the EWL championships,” Pavasko said. “We are going to approach the EWL championships with a chip on our shoulder. We are hungry and have something to prove.”

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