It's been a long time since Northern Lehigh and Palmerton have wrestled a match that was as competitive as the one they did on Saturday.
The Bulldogs, smarting from a loss to Northwestern Lehigh last Thursday, were chomping at the bit to put that one in the past.
The Bombers, on the other hand, had eyes set on possibly their first trip ever to District XI Duals this coming weekend.
Neither team disappointed their followers and when the dust cleared, the Bulldogs came away with a 35-30 win that wasn't decided until the final bout.
The Bombers trailed 20-18 with six bouts remaining when Sam Oberlander, J.D. Christman and Joey Bubble ran off three straight wins to give the hosts a 30-20 lead.
Nikko Stevens, Connor Hedash and Ty Herzog wouldn't be denied however, with Hedash and Herzog winning by falls to seal the deal.
"We knew Palmerton would be tough," said Bulldog mentor Todd Herzog afterwards. "Dave (Lavin) and Brett (Martinez) are doing some of the best coaching right now in the Lehigh Valley turning the Bomber program around.
"(Sam) Oberlander beating Heller at 130 helped them and we're a little shorthanded now at 130. The wins by Connor (Hedash) and Ty (Herzog) were huge. We expected them to play slow down a bit, but when it came down to Hedash and a returning regional medalist, they layed the hammer down. Connor's pin lifted the weight off of Ty's shoulders and he finished it off."
Nikko Stevens battled Cody Grohotolski at 140 and got the Bulldogs within seven team points by virtue of a 5-1 decision. The match entered the final two minutes with Stevens clinging to a 2-1 lead after a first period takedown. He escaped to start the third period, was awarded a point when Grohotolski was called for stalling and ended it with a late takedown.
At 145, Hedash held a 2-1 lead into the second period and put Travis Wolfe on his back for the fall in 3:23.
Herzog followed with a first period fall against Cody Silfies at 152 to end it in 1:52.
"We knew they'd come in here ready to wrestle," Lavin said about the Bulldogs, afterwards. "We got some upsets and capitalized where we needed it, but they got the matchups they needed in the end.
"Jarrett Kleintop got us a fall at 189 and then Sam, J.D. and Joey came through. I was proud of all of them."
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 7-0 lead when Dylan Hofman opened with a 14-1 major decision over Jake Christman at 160 and Danny Marsh decisioned Andrew Strauss 8-4 at 171,
Kleintop got the Bombers on the scoreboard with a 4:25 fall of Brody Minnich. The Palmerton senior had an 11-5 lead before picking up the six points at 189.
Colin Hedash came right back for the Bulldogs at 215, however, scoring a major decision over Kane Kralik, 13-5. Hedash used six takedowns and an escape for his points, while Kralik had five escapes.
Skyler Rosenberry (285) and Josh Evans (112) were awarded forfeit wins for Palmerton around a forfeit to Northern Lehigh's Zack Leiby at 103 giving the Bombers a 18-17 lead.
Lucas Dise followed with a 7-4 decision over Palmerton's Dillon Masington at 119 giving Northern Lehigh a 20-18 advantage before the Bombers put their three wins together.
Oberlander trailed Heller 3-1 entering the third period and came up with a reversal to tie it at 3-3. He was awarded three back points with about 10 seconds remaining to seal the deal and put Palmerton ahead 21-20.
Christman pinned Brian Puskas in 1:42 at 130 and Bubble managed an escape and takedown in the second period to hold off Austin Stevens for a 5-2 decision, before the Bulldogs ended it with their three wins.
No. Lehigh 35, Palmerton 30
160 - Dylan Hofman (NL) maj. Dec. Jake Christman 14-1
171 - Danny Marsh (NL) dec. Andrew Strauss 8-4
189 - Jarret Kleintop (P) pinned Brody Minnich in 4:25
215 - Colin Hedash (NL) maj. dec. Kane Kralik 13-5
285 - Skyler Rosenberry (P) won by forfeit
103 - Zach Leiby (NL) won by forfeit
112 - Josh Evans (P) won by forfeit
119 - Lucas Dise (NL) dec. Dillon Masington 7-4
125 - Sam Oberlander (P) dec. Zane Heller 6-3
130 - J.D. Christman (P) pinned Brian Puskas in 1:42
135 - Joey Bubble (P) dec. Austin Stevens 5-2
140 - Nikko Stevens (NL) dec. Cody Grohotolski 5-1
145 - Connor Hedash (NL) pinned Travis Wolfe in 3:23
152 - Ty Herzog (NL) pinned Cody Silfies in 1:32