Burrell beats South Fayette for WPIAL AA wrestling title

Published Feb 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm (Updated Feb 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm)

South Fayette had Burrell right where it wanted and a WPIAL banner within its grasp too. But, the Lions lost the final two bouts and walked away with a runner-up wrestling trophy for the second straight season after their 34-28 defeat in the Class AA championship match.

“We had a shot at it,” sighed Rick Chaussard. “We just didn’t get it done.”

After Andrew John edged Dean Edwards, 6-5, giving the Lions a 28-26 advantage and a chance at their first district title, Burrell responded with a technical fall and a decision to nail down its eighth consecutive WPIAL championship. Dillan Jeffrey scored a technical fall over Jasper Wolfe at 113 and Jason Roberts defeated Kevin Chaussard, 7-1, at 120.

“That’s a good team,” Chaussard nodded to the Buccaneers, who celebrated at the center of the mat in the Chartiers Valley gymnasium. “We knew it would be a dogfight to the end. We expected a close match.”

While the Lions got the match-ups they anticipated, they didn’t exactly come out roaring. They dropped three of the first four bouts.

Amid a technical fall at 126 by Anthony Marra over Scott Rzepecki, an overtime decision by Corey Falleroni against Shane Ging at 138 and a pin by Steve Edwards against Ben Previte, Michael Carr scored the lone points for the Lions. The senior won, 6-4, against J.R. Andrejcik at 132.

“We got the match-ups we wanted,” explained Chaussard. “We wanted to start off being aggressive and on our feet but it didn’t start that way.”

But it nearly finished that way as South Fayette dominated all but one of the next six bouts.

Grant Fetchet felled Noah Hanna in 2:44 at 160. Jared Walker scored an 11-3 major decision against Derrick Beattie at 170. And, when Jack Previte pinned Nick Pattock at 3:47 the Lions not only erupted with excited, they also had erased a 14-point deficit and vaulted to a 19-17 advantage.

Though Rausaun Culberson succumbed to Robert Scherer at 195, Zach Walker fired the Lions up again when he felled Corey Arabia in 1:32.

In less than a minute, however, Burrell erased the Lions’ momentum. In 52 seconds, Allan Beattie pinned Bryce Christoff at 285, setting the stage for the lightweights.

“We lost the close ones,” said Chaussard. “If we win the close matches, it’s a different story.”

While the loss was their first of the season after 20 success stories, the Lions’ tale does not end there. South Fayette may have an opportunity to exact revenge on the Buccaneers (12-3) as both teams are qualified for the PIAA tournament. Action commences on Feb. 4 at sites and times to be determined.

“We are a resilient bunch,” Chaussard said when asked can the Lions rebound from the loss. “We have no choice (but to bounce back). We have three days to get ready.”

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