LAYTON — Corbin Roennebeck’s takedown of Ethan Duke and the smack of the referee’s hand on the wrestling mat got an already fiery Syracuse crowd on its feet.
The excitement didn’t just come from the pin that mathematically clinched the Region 1 wrestling championship for the Titans on Thursday night at Layton High School.
It also came from what’s happened earlier this season, as well as Syracuse’s recent history with Layton: four losses in a row, including two winner-take-all region title matches.
So when it was finally over, the team took photos on the wrestling mat with the scoreboard in the background, which showed 37 points for the visiting Titans and 34 for the home Lancers.
“They’ve got a great program and they’re well coached,” Syracuse coach Troy Brown said. “It feels good.”
A couple weeks ago, two starting wrestlers, Carson Rountree and Austin Bunton, went down back-to-back days with season-ending injuries.
It could’ve derailed Syracuse. Instead, the Titans rallied.
“Everyone took it hard, but took it into matches just wanting revenge and to keep pushing,” Roennebeck said.
Roennebeck’s pin at 195 pounds clinched the team victory and he did it with 45 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Syracuse side of the gym roared and the rest of the team leapt out of their seats and started hugging each other.
“It felt good, wanted to come and win. I just went in there to win,” Roennebeck said. “It felt so good.”
The match that swung the dual in the Titans’ favor was at 160 pounds where Tytan Smith took on Layton’s Canyon Brann, one of the top wrestlers in the state and a surefire state title contender.
In the previous match at 152, Syracuse’s Joshua Rassi left it late, but scored a bout-winning takedown with 50 seconds left in the third period against Layton’s Isaac Fisher.
If Rassi left his win late, Smith one-upped him. Smith had Brann on the ground with 11 seconds left in a tied match, but the wrestlers were out of bounds.
Smith nearly took Brann down again on the restart, but the third time was the charm and Smith won 5-3 in overtime.
“I knew he was capable. Canyon’s obviously pretty talented ... Tytan hasn’t won a big match for a little bit, he’s come up short against some good kids. It was good to see him (win),” Brown said. “He looked good, too, as far as his composure going out there. You can tell he didn’t let the moment get too big for him.”
Since the 37-34 margin of victory was so slim, Syracuse could point to another crucial win: Isaac Griffin at 132 pounds.
Griffin was comfortably ahead against Baden Hearne with 20 seconds left in the third period, but he turned Hearne over and secured a pin with 11 seconds left.
The win was a breath of sweet relief for Syracuse, which has watched the Lancers dominate the Region 1 (and for a short time, Region 2) wrestling scene the past few years since the Titans’ last region wrestling title, which came in 2015.
In 2016, Layton beat Syracuse 32-31 when a Lancer freshman named Terrell Barraclough beat Eden by a major decision to tie the match 31 apiece in the final bout at 113 points. The Lancers won more matches overall (eight matches to the Titans’ six) and thus won the region title.
Barraclough would eventually become a four-time state champion and signed to wrestle at Penn State, currently the No. 2 ranked college wrestling team in the nation and one of the most dominant and prestigious wrestling programs in the country.
Layton won 46-15 in 2017 season, 49-16 in 2018 and 35-24 last year.
106: Porter Kinne (Layton) def. Boston Loveland (Syracuse) by fall (1:27)
113: Sutton Brown (SHS) def. Ryker Brann (LHS) by major decision (10-0)
120: Quade Smith (LHS) def. Austin Sales (SHS) by fall (5:17)
126: Aidan Harris (LHS) def. Gunnar Brown (SHS) by major decision (10-0)
132: Isaac Griffin (SHS) def. Baden Hearne (LHS) by fall (5:49)
138: Grant Fairbanks (SHS) def. Mason Haycock (LHS) by fall (3:14)
145: Tyson Humpherys (LHS) def. Jordan Davies (SHS) by fall (1:52)
152: Joshua Rassi (SHS) def. Isaac Fisher (LHS) by decision (5-3)
160: Tytan Smith (SHS) def. Canyon Brann (LHS) by decision (SV-1 4-2)
170: Nash Anderson (SHS) def. Seth Stoddard (LHS) by decision (4-2)
182: Zachary Phipps (SHS) def. Brandon Galvez (LHS) by fall (2:46)
195: Corbin Roennebeck (SHS) def. Ethan Duke (LHS) by fall (5:15)
220: Noah Linford (LHS) def. Connor Schwab (SHS) by fall (5:05)
285: Tevita Vuki (LHS) won by forfeit.
The 6A divisional meets, which determine seeding for the state tournament, will be held next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.
Syracuse is hosting the 6A ‘B’ divisional meet while the ‘A’ divisional meet will be held at West High.
The 5A divisional meets are also next weekend with the ‘A’ divisional at Wasatch High and the ‘B’ divisional at Mountain View.