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Canon-McMillan rallies for second consecutive state title

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 3:00 p.m.
Canon-McMillan head coach Chris Mary celebrates with Brendon Price after Price defeated Central Dauphin's Zach Elvin (left) with a 4-3 decision in their 106-pound match during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin 34-31, to win its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon McMillan wrestlers hoist Brendon Price as they celebrate defeating Central Dauphin, 34-31, to win their second straight PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling title at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Price defeated Central Dauphin's Zach Elvin with a 4-3 decision in their 106-pound match. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan head coach Chris Mary runs to congratulate Brendon Price after he defeated Central Dauphin's Zach Elvin (left) with a 4-3 decision in their 106-pound match during the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to win its second straight team title. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan wrestlers and head coach Chris Mary pose with the championship trophy after the Big Macs defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to win their second straight PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling title at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan head coach Chris Mary celebrates with Brendon Price after Price defeated Central Dauphin's Zach Elvin with a 4-3 decision in their 106-pound match during the finals of the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to win its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Alex Campbell prepares to pin Central Dauphin's Deitrik Ferster at 1:33 in their 220-pound match during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to earn its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Franklin Regional's Andrew Marshall takes down Easton's Casin Corallo during their 106-pound bout in the third-place match at the PIAA Class AAA team wrestling championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Marshall scored a 7-1 decision to give Franklin Regional a 29-26 victory over Easton. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Canon-McMillan's Alec Hutchin battles Central Dauphin's Zach Bentz in their 138-pound match during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Hutchin won by a 8-1 decision. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to earn its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Connor Schram will attempt to become a three-time WPIAL champion. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Angelo Broglia prepares to pin Central Dauphin's Mike Ferster at 2:43 in their 285-pound match during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to earn its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Dalton Macri celebrates his pin of Central Dauphin's Nick Ward at 3:50 in their 120-pound match during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to earn their second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review Franklin Regional wrestlers celebrate as Andrew Marshall takes down Easton Area's Casin Corallo during their 106-pound bout in the third-place match at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Marshall scored a 7-1 decision to give Franklin Regional a victory over Easton Area, 29-26. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan head coach Chris Mary celebrates with Brendon Price after the Big Macs defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to win their second straight team championship during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Price defeated Central Dauphin's Zach Elvin with a 4-3 decision in their 106-pound match during the finals. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Cody Wiercioch, taking down Central Dauphin's Steven McNeal at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships, helped the Big Macs defend their WPIAL and state team titles. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan wrestlers celebrate after Angelo Broglia pins Central Dauphin's Mike Ferster at 2:43 in their 285-pound match during the finals at the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Feb. 9, 2013. Canon McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to earn its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)
Canon-McMillan's Alex Campbell is congratulated by head coach Chris Mary after his pin of Central Dauphin's Deitrik Ferster at 1:33 in their 220-pound match during the finals of the PIAA Class AAA Team Wrestling Championships at Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Canon-McMillan defeated Central Dauphin, 34-31, to earn its second straight team championship. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)

HERSHEY — Canon-McMillan became the first team from the WPIAL to win two PIAA Class AAA Team Championships.

The Big Macs won their second consecutive in dramatic fashion, rallying to upset four-time state champion Central Dauphin, 34-31, Saturday at Giant Center.

Junior Brendon Price edged Zach Elvin, 4-3, in the final bout at 106 pounds to end a rally that saw Canon-McMillan trail 31-19 with three bouts remaining.

Seniors Alex Campbell (220 pounds) and Alex Broglia (285) set the stage for the heart-thumping final match by recording pins to tie the score, 31-31.

That left Price to battle Elvin. Price, who lost to Elvin twice last year, scored the first takedown to set the tone.

“He's good on top, and I'm a little bigger and stronger this year,” Price said. “I had to control the match. Last year he had size on me. I have it in my heart I can beat anybody.”

It was his team's heart that Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary said was the difference.

Mary leaped from his chair when the final horn sounded and pointed to the Canon-McMillan fans.

“This one brought tears to my eyes for what these kids overcame,” Mary said. “We were a better team last year. This was won on heart. Last year we had more talent.”

Both teams won seven bouts, but the difference was bonus points. Canon-McMillan had three pins and two technical falls, while Central Dauphin got a fall, a forfeit, a technical fall and two major decisions.

Central Dauphin coach Jeff Sweigard also had tears in his eyes. He said he knew not getting bonus points at 145, 152 and 170 pounds was the difference.

“I had a feeling it would come down to 106,” Sweigard said. “Two state-ranked kids, and Price pulled it out. It was a great match for the fans, but a tough one for our team.”

A pin by Dalton Macri (120) and a technical fall by Connor Schram (126) gave Canon-McMillan an early 11-4 lead. When Alec Hutchin (132) won a decision, the Big Macs were up, 14-4.

Central Dauphin strung together five consecutive victories to grab a 26-14 lead before Canon-McMillan's Cody Wiercioch (182) and Central Dauphin's Terrance Parson (195) traded technical falls.

“We saved bonus points, Nick (Oberhaus), William (Pihou) and Sammy (Minor),” Mary said. “Alex and Angelo knew we needed falls, and I told Brendon just to go out and have fun.

“This is one of the best days in my entire life. I can't express it in words. I'm so proud of these guys for fighting through adversity to win a second state title.”

Canon-McMillan was without two starters — state place-winner Solomon Chishko and Malachi Krenzelak. Both were out with injuries.

“Last year we were kind of the favorite,” Schram said. “This year I was a little nervous, and I'm not going to lie. We were looking on paper on how we were going to win. Now that we did, it's like a dream. I can't fathom how we won.”

Franklin Regional finished third in the state by rallying to defeat Easton, 29-26.

Andrew Marshall (106) defeated Cason Corallo, 7-1, to decide the match. A win by Brett Zanotto (220) and a pin by heavyweight Luke Fleck tied the score, 26-26.

Franklin Regional reached the third-place match by avenging a loss to Erie McDowell on Jan. 25, winning 29-25 in the consolation semifinals. Fleck, who didn't wrestle in the first meeting, won a 3-2 in overtime tiebreaker.

“First time down here and we take third place,” Franklin Regional coach Eric Mausser said. “We would have liked to be in the finals, but we avenged some of our losses.

“Andrew has been in a slump since the playoffs, but to break it was huge for him. Luke battled back from some knee injuries and is getting into shape. Our goal next year is to be in that center mat.”

Bethlehem Catholic defeated Reynolds, 43-16, to capture the Class AA title.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com.

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