The buzz surrounding the Colonial League matchup between Northern Lehigh and Saucon Valley was undeniable. The stage was set for Northern Lehigh to show that it was ready to compete with one of the top programs in the league.
Unfortunately, Saucon's experience and depth were too much for Northern Lehigh to handle on this night as the Bulldogs fell to the Panthers, 54-15.
C.J. Young picked up the first win for Northern Lehigh over Saucon's Brody Bisson, a 6-2 decision at 138 pounds.
Northern Lehigh coach Todd Herzog was especially pleased with Young's win over Bisson.
"C.J. beat a senior and four-year starter in Bisson," Herzog said. "I couldn't be prouder of him an how he battled out there."
Northern Lehigh's Ty Herzog picked up a pinfall victory over Saucon's Andrei Gausling at 152 punds. The win gives Herzog 92 for his career.
The last victory for the Bulldogs came at 170 pounds with Marcus Hardiman pinning the Panthers' Jason Lynch. The win put Northern Lehigh up 15-12 in the contest, but the lead would be short-lived as Saucon Valley reeled off eight consecutive match wins.
Overall, coach Herzog was pleased with his team and the way they competed throughout the match.
"I thought they fought hard in every bout," Herzog said. "We have a young team and we made some mistakes out there.
"Saucon is a very experienced team and they were able to exploit our mistakes, which is what a good team should do."
Herzog knew that wrestling Saucon Valley early in the season would allow him to see where his team needs to improve moving forward.
"They were in the driver's seat with (Ray) O'Donnell, (Justin) Blode, (Tyler) Haraka and (Brian) Israel," Herzog said, referencing four of the Panthers' top wrestlers.
O'Donnell went 47-2 last season and is committed to wrestle at Princeton next year while Blode, Haraka and Israel are all coming off 30 win seasons.
Saucon Valley coach Chad Shirk had high praise for Northern Lehigh coach Todd Herzog and the program he has built.
"Northern Lehigh's got a lot of tradition," Shirk said. "This was a really tough matchup and they made us earn it tonight."
Saucon Valley 54, No. Lehigh 15
106 - Jack Hill (SV) pinned Colton Rex 3:24
113 - Ty Drukenmiller (SV) won by forfeit
120 - Brian Israel (SV) pinned Matt Schmall :51
126 - Tyler Haraka (SV) pinned Zach Leiby 1:18
* 132 - Nick Schneider (SV) pinned Ryan Rubio 5:20
138 - C.J. Young (NL) dec. Brody Bisson, 6-2
145 - Dylan Yonney (SV) dec. Nate Farber, 10-4
152 - Ty Herzog (NL) pinned Andrei Gausling 1:48
160 - Travis Buddock (SV) dec. Austin Arnold, 12-6
170 - Marcus Hardiman (NL) pinned Jason Lynch 3:24
182 - Sam Dickey (SV) dec. Cody Bowman, 6-0
195 - Justin Blode (SV) dec. Theo Young, 11-4
220 - Matt Ehritz (SV) pinned Stephan Scheib 1:02
285 - Ray O'Donnell (SV) pinned Tom Nesfeder :14
* - Match started at 132 pounds