HERSHEY - Tamaqua's Colin Mashack and Northern Lehigh's Ty Herzog both scored victories in the first round of the PIAA Class AA Championships on Thursday morning.
Palmerton's Sam Oberlander came close to a win, but along with teammates Josh Evans and Cody Grohotolski, dropped into the first round of consolations.
Mashack didn't show any nerves in his first trip to Hershey as he pinned Josh Brown (31-6) of Claysburg-Kimmel in 2:43 of their 106-pound bout.
Jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first period with a takedown and nearfall points, Mashack didn't waste any time starting from the neutral position in the second period. A quick takedown turned into the quick fall.
"I've never been here before so I just warmed up like I usually do and after I got the first takedown, just went from there," Mashack said.
Mashack (38-3) will meet Tyler Vath (40-2) of Saegertown, a winner by a 2-0 decision over Austin McDermitt of Burgettstown, in tomorrow's quarterfinal.
Evans drew defending state champ Jason Nolf of Kittanning in the first round and lost 18-1 by a technical fall in 5:47.
The Blue Bombers sophomore trailed 4-1 after the first period, but Nolf (40-0) took control with eight points in the second period and closed it out with an escape, takedown and three-point nearfall in the final two minutes.
Evans (30-8) wrestled Trey Constable (23-9) of Brookville in the 113-pound first round consolations this afternoon.
Oberlander almost pulled off the first major upset of the tournament, but lost a 15-14 decision to unbeaten Jarray Norris (40-0) of Sharon.
The Bombers' 120-pounder trailed 3-2 at the end of the first period, but came back with a reversal, three back points, an escape and takedown in the second period sandwiched around two Norris reversals for an 11-7 lead.
In the final period, Oberlander had a 14-12 lead with time winding down and let Norris up for a one-point escape with 11 seconds left. Norris took a shot and scored a takedown with four seconds remaining to salvage the win.
Oberlander (37-6) took on South Side Beaver's Nate Recker (38-5) in the first round consolations.
Herzog's takedown with 1:04 left in the first period gave him a 2-0 lead over Tanner Sutton of Chartiers-Houston. The Bulldogs' junior added a takedown and escape in the second period and closed out with a reversal and takedown after Sutton escaped en route to a 8-2 decison.
"I felt pretty good," Herzog said after the win. "He looked like a pretty strong kid and I felt we were evenly matched.
"On my feet, I stayed active, which helped me a lot getting some shots in at some different angles."
Herzog (30-7) will wrestle Hughesville's Kyle Barnes (38-0) in tomorrow's quarterfinals.
Grohotolski held a 2-1 lead over Conemaugh Township's Cory Berchick in the 152-pound first round matchup, but Berchick managed an escape and takedown in the second period to hold a 4-2 edge with two minutes remaining.
Grohotolski tied it up at 4-4, but Berchick escaped, took down Grohotolski and pinned him in 5:06.
Grohotolski (30-8) wrestled Harborcreek's Kevin Nowakowski (31-10) in first round consis.
Northwestern's Levi Veppert and David Tirpak, Lehighton's Michael Balliet and Palmerton's Kane Kralik were still waiting to wrestle as of press time.