LAKE LUZERNE - With 14 matches decided and one to go in a meet against Granville Dec. 23, it came down to a 96-pound seventh grader to make the difference between a hard-earned victory for the War-Eagles Varsity wrestling team, or a disappointing loss.
Hadley-Luzerne's Ryan Matuszak got the job done, and done right, defeating his opponent with the night's fastest pin.
Bearing the weight of his teammate's expectations - and two school communities, besides - Matuszak dug deep and took Granville's Steven Cohan down and had his shoulders pressed to the mat in 48 seconds for the meet-winning pin. His feat prompted cheers from War-Eagles spectators who witnessed the come-from-behind victory in the home gymnasium.
With the win, the War-Eagles have their best season start ever with a 6-2 record overall.
Also pinning for the War Eagles (6-2) were Casey Bills (112), Joe Plante (119), Hunter Hamilton (135), Kyle Bachem (171) and Jason Yard (189).
The War-Eagles aren't strangers to winning in 2009. Saturday, the team took home the first-place title at the Canajoharie/Fort Plain Duals meet.
103 - Nate Palmer (G) dec. Dan Jardine, 7-3.
112 - Casey Bills (HL/LG) pinned Jesse Owens, 4:17.
119 - Joe Plante (HL/LG) pinned Justin Duel, :51.
125 - B. Miller (G) pinned Zach Olson, 1:59.
130 - Brendan Miller (G) pinned Justin Cook, 3:49.
135 - Hunter Hamilton (HL/LG) pinned Paul Hanna, 5:20.
140 - Karl Palmer (G) dec. Cecil Hayes, 9-1.
145 - Kurt Ehntholt (G) pinned Cody Phillips, 2:15.
152 - Keith Gould (G) pinned Art Barber, 3:04.
160 - Tim Goutos (HL/LG) by forfeit.
171 - Kyle Bachem (HL/LG) pinned David McCullen, 3:33.
189 - Jason Yard (HL/LG) pinned Charles Krueger, 2:55.
215 - Eric Hastings (G) pinned Josh Borgh, 1:35.
285 - Walter Foster (G) dec. Jack Clark, 10-1.
96 - Ryan Matuszak (HL/LG) pinned Steven Cohan, 0:48.