Despite giving up three forfeits, Palmerton's wrestlers knew they could still beat a Northwestern team looking for its first win.
The Blue Bombers just needed to pull out some wins in the middle weights and maybe even collect a few bonus points to keep things secure.
They did just that, running the table from 120 through 152 for a 46-29 win at Northwestern.
"We were a little shorthanded," said Palmerton head coach Dave Lavin. "We knew we had to control the match from 120 to 152. They went for some stuff. I wanted to get some pins in there. A couple guys didn't get it, but they were going for big moves."
The Bombers (11-6 overall, 3-3 Colonial League) won eight of 10 contested matches, including five pins and six matches with bonus points.
The Tigers (0-10, 0-6) were down 34-11 when the strongest part of their lineup (152-170) got to the mat.
"They out-toughed us," said Northwestern head coach Jim Moll. "They went out and went after it. They looked for pinning combinations. I lost count how many times they hit the rolling cement job. A bunch of times. They just outworked our guys."
One of those cement jobs was landed by Palmerton sophomore Dan Russo.
With the Bombers ahead 18-11 after three bouts, Russo (126) fell behind Jason Hottinger 2-0 in the first period. He hit a five-point move in the second period to take a lead, then held off Hottinger for the win, giving his team a 21-11 advantage.
"I had to dig myself out of a hole," said Russo. "In the second period I hit the cement job. From there on it was close and I'm just glad I pulled it out in the end."
Northwestern's Joe Colucci, who got the first take down of his career, battled to hold Dillon Massington to a major decion at 132, keeping the score at 28-11 in favor of Palmerton.
The Bombers extended that lead with a pair of pins in key matches. Zack Christman (138) put Cole Moyer on his back in 3:41. Joseph Bubble (145) showed Andrew Sorensen the lights in 2:46 to give his team a 40-11 lead with just four bouts left.
The Tigers won forfeits at 160 and 170. Palmerton wrestled without 160-pounder Zach Graver, who is a top-ranked wrestler in the TN rankings.
Another top-ranked TN wrestler, Mike Ortiz bumped up to 182 and got the Tigers their only pin of the night as he put Matt Wolfe on his back in 1:43.
The Bombers finished off the match with Jake Christman's pin of the Tigers' Alex Russo.
Palmerton currently holds the 10th and final qualifying spot in the district rankings as it tries to earn its second straight trip to team districts.
"This win is big because with our loss to Catasauqua we're kind of out of the league tournament," said Dan Russo. "But we have to win our matches to make it to district duals. These next few matches are must-wins."
Thursday's match started at 220, where Skyler Rosenburry got the Bombers a 6-0 lead when he pinned Jacob Murray in 39 seconds. A Northwestern forfeit at 285 made it 12-0.
Jarrett White (106) put Northwestern on the board when he dispatched of Brandon Traugher by technical fall, 15-0, after two periods.
The Tigers got another forfeit win before Josh Evans (120) started the Palmerton run when he pinned Davd Van Blargen in 2:29.
Palmerton 46, Northwestern 29
106 – Jarrett White (NW) tech. fall Brandon Traugher, 15-0 in 4:00
113 – Quintin Bernhard (NW) won by forfeit
120 – Josh Evans (P) pinned David Van Blargen in 2:29
126 – Dan Russo (P) dec. Jason Hottinger, 7-6
132 – Damien Fink (P) dec. Hanny Awadallah, 6-2
138 – Dillon Massington (P) maj. dec. Joe Colucci, 9-0
145 – Zack Christman (P) pinned Cole Moyer in 3:41
152 – Joseph Bubble (P) pinned Andrew Sorensen in 2:46
160 – Mitch Evans (NW) won by forfeit
170 – Anthony Fillis (NW) won by forfeit
182 – Mike Ortiz (NW) pinned Matt Wolfe in 1:43
195 – Jake Christman (P) pinned Anthony Russo in 2:36
220 – Skyler Rosenberry (P) pinned Jacob Murray in :39
285 – Andrew Strauss (P) won by forfeit.