Edison's Kyle Burns and coach Davy Hermes wanted this matchup for months.
They knew that Bedford St. Peter Chanel's Dan Orrill, projected by Brian Brakeman to win the 145-pound Division III weight class, would stand in the way.
On Saturday night, Burns eked out the narrowest of victories, a 5-4 decision that was decided in regulation, yet after the third period whistle.
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"I've been practicing hard with (Logan and Hunter Stieber) and Cam Tessari, and all them," Burns said, referencing the four-time state champion middleweights. "They beat me up a lot, but it's finally paid off."
Burns was forced up into the 145-pound class for a better chance to win a state title, versus trying for a title in the same class as Stieber or Tessari.
The Chargers, who were fourth in the Division III standings behind No. 3 Monroeville, No. 2 CVCA and champion Chanel, tried to bring in top competition, going as far as scheduling Chanel for a dual.
"I told you two months ago, Orrill was the guy we wanted to see," Hermes said. That's the reason we brought Chanel in. That was the perfect scenario, and that's who we saw."
In that first meeting, Burns held a 3-0 second-period lead, but ran out of gas and lost in overtime.
"When he beat me earlier in the year, I knew I should have won that match, and I let myself down. I wanted another shot," he said. "What better time to take that shot than in the state finals?"
The second meeting was every bit as close: Burns' match came down even beyond the final second -- the referee ruled moments after the third-period whistle blew that the Edison Junior had scored the match- and title-winning escape point.
"I knew it would be a close match, come down to the end," Burns said. "I had to dig deep and get it."
Hackworth toughs it out
Oak Harbor senior Tyler Hackworth (125) didn't picture himself as a state champion just a few weeks ago.
"I wouldn't have picked myself as a state champion in the beginning of the year. I mean, I didn't really picture myself as a state champ in the beginning of the sectionals," he said. "After I won districts, I started getting really serious about it, being in the state finals. After that happened, I was determined to win it."
He took the title with a gritty 2-0 victory against Canfield's Robby Reed. Hackworth scored a first-period takedown and made the points last. He started the second period on the bottom, holding off Reed's attempts to turn him. With the option to start the third period, Hackworth chose to start on the bottom again.
"At the end of the second period, I stood up twice and almost got out. I figured, in the third period I was going to get out or he was going to kick me. I knew I wasn't going to my back."
He didn't get the escape, but Reed didn't get the turn. Hackworth took home the title.
The other Rockets in the state championship matches -- Ian Miller at 152, Konner Witt at 160 and Jake Cramer at 171 -- were not so lucky.
Miller and Witt both lost overtime decisions to foes from wrestling powerhouse St. Paris Graham, which easily won another Division II title. The Rockets were third overall. Walsh Jesuit was No. 2.
Miller injured his shoulder late in the third period against Graham's Matt Stephens with the score knotted at 0-0. Stephens scored a takedown with 10 seconds to go in sudden victory for the 2-0 win.
Witt fell to Isaac Jordan 5-3, in another sudden victory. He finished second in the state two years in a row, after falling in the finals to three-time champ Harrison Hightower 5-2 in 2010.
Mantua Crestwood's Cody Ryba edged Cramer in the 171-pound finals, 5-4.
"I've had a pretty good season, I'd say," Cramer said. "My goal was the state finals, and I achieved that goal, but I wanted the state title in my last match."
Majoy's big hurdle
Since sectionals, Tyler Majoy knew what would be his last, greatest hurdle, if he could make it to the state finals.
"It's Hunter Stieber," he said. "What are you going to do?"
Majoy knew he'd run into Monroeville's Stieber ... if he was lucky. The Edison junior started as the second seed in the sectional tournament, opposite of Stieber. They could only meet in the finals. Majoy met Stieber in the sectional finals, and he was placed on the opposite side of the district bracket. It was a repeat for the district tournament, with Majoy in the opposite half of the state bracket.
Majoy earned his meeting with Stieber by taking down consecutive district champions -- Chanel's Jeremy Walden and Nelsonville-York's Carl Moody -- in two straight matches (He was rewarded for the feat by being announced before his finals match as Walden).
He entered Saturday's championship bout with seven losses, the most of the six 135-pounders wrestling for the title, but four were to Stieber, a fifth to Reuben Burrows, the 2011 Division I runner-up.
"This is the fifth time I've wrestled Hunter," Majoy said. "I'm pretty sure I'm out of tricks. I just tried to do what I usually did, and, unfortunately, it didn't quite work.
"Hunter's by far the best wrestler I've ever known, I've ever met. Congratulations to him for his fourth victory."
Majoy and Stieber wrestled in the finals of the Edison Invitational, both teams' first event of the year, at the "Thunderdome" in Milan. Four meetings later, they met again under the lights in Value City Arena.
Majoy returns next year with state-finals experience, without Stieber in the way.
Clyde's Strickland finishes second
Clyde heavyweight Trevor Strickland fell in the championship match to Washington Court House Washington's Riley Shaw, 4-1.
The difference was basically a stalling point in the third period. Shaw scored a takedown in the final seconds as Strickland opened up, going for the takedown in his final effort.
"We lost on a stalling point, but at the same time, we can't put ourselves in that situation to be able to let that call be made," second-year Clyde coach Rob Jennings said. "The other kid set the pace of the match. I won't take anything away from him. He beat us tonight."
It was only Strickland's second loss on the season in 51 matches. His only other loss came to Huron's Nino Majoy, who finished third in Division III.
Did Jennings, who inherited a lanky 215-pounder when he took over the job, think that he'd be watching Strickland in the heavyweight championship match?
"Yeah, actually, I thought he could have been here in the state finals last year at heavyweight," he said. "That was something we had talked about last year. He wasn't real comfortable with the move. ... This year he obviously grew, and it made the decision a little bit easier for us. Also, with Billy having the success he did at 215 ... If a couple things go a little bit different, we walk out of here champs tonight."