Spring-Ford falls to Franklin Regional in PIAA opening round

HERSHEY — Franklin Regional came into the state duals with some heady credentials.

The defending state champions reported to the Giant Center with a District 7 title under their belts and a number of state-caliber wrestlers in their lineup. But as for whether Spring-Ford put too much stake in the Panthers’ posture …

“I think we gave them too much respect,’ head coach Tim Seislove said after seeing his Rams handled in their first-round match, 49-18.

The locals were only able to win four bouts against a Franklin unit that put the match away with a seven-weight run good for 36 points and a berth in the quarterfinals against Council Rock South.

Prior to that surge, Spring-Ford — third seed from District 1 and a 36-24 winner over Exeter in Tuesday’s preliminary round — hung close to the Panthers. But as quick as FR could record three pins and a similar number of technical falls, it dropped the Rams (22-3) into wrestlebacks and a must-win duel with General McLane at 10 a.m. Friday.

“We have to fight back tomorrow,’ Seislove said. “General McLane is tough. But our kids will bounce back. They’ll be excited to get the job done.’

FR opened a 10-point lead at the start before Spring-Ford got on the scoreboard with Danny Krieble’s 5-1 decision of Jeremy Nestor at 195. The Rams got to within one point of pulling even with the Panthers, countering a loss at 220 with Zach Dorsey’s pin at 285 and Brandon Meredith’s overtime decision at 106.

But the 13-12 deficit blew up with the Panthers getting tech-falls at 113, 120 and 132 around a pin at 126. The District 7 champs came away with a close 6-5 decision at 138 before scoring two more falls at 145 and 152.

One of the brighter spots for Spring-Ford was Frankie Krauss’ closeout match at 160. Krauss, coming to Hershey two wins away from the 100 mark for his scholastic career, dropped Ryan DeLoach at 1:07.

Dorsey also got his fall in the first period, decking Logan Miller three seconds before the whistle. And Meredith followed by topping Mark Prucnal in overtime, 9-7.

“He wrestled a nice third period,’ Seislove said of his freshman lightweight. “He fought back to get the win.’

Ryan Hayes came to Hershey knowing he faced a formidable opponent in Spencer Lee. The nation’s top-ranked wrestler in his weight class handled Hayes — himself a state medalist in 2014 — by rolling up a tech-fall 42 seconds into the second period.

“They have a solid team,’ Seislove said of the Panthers. “It was a good team battle. I was hoping for a little more out of individuals.’

NOTES — General McLane came to state duals champions of District 10. The Lancers came up short of CR South in their match, 31-27.

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