Rayhart Stuns State Champion Jan Johnson at SC Regional

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Big Spring wrestler Tommy Rayhart controls State Champion Jan Johnson

Big Spring wrestler Tommy Rayhart controls State Champion Jan Johnson

The last time Jan Johnson lost a match was two years ago on March 11, 2013 at the PIAA State Tournament when he fell to State Champion Jake Hart (Hampton) by a score of (4-3). Since then he has won 89 straight matches including a PIAA State Championship Title last season. (Note: Although his official record reflects one defeat in 2014 it was a forfeit due to Governor Mifflin not returning to a Tournament due to a snowstorm.)

On Friday night Johnson’s streak came to an end when he fell to Big Spring senior Tommy Rayhart in the South Central Regional quarterfinal round.

These two are no strangers to each other and have met several times over the last four seasons. In fact the pair met in the 2013 South Central Regional finals which Johnson won by fall. Last season at the SC Regional the two faced off, as fate will have it, in the quarterfinals. In that match Johnson won a tight (2-1) affair and would go on to capture Regional and State Championships. For Rayhart, a 2013 PIAA State Seventh Place Medalist, he failed to qualify for the PIAA State Tournament getting upset by Cumberland Valley’s Trent Cook.

This season Rayhart has a (1-2) record against freshman Francis Duggan (Cumberland Valley) but made a loud statement by defeating Johnson (3-2). After a scoreless first period Johnson took down to start the second period. After Rayhart rode him out for close to a minute the two went out of bounds and restarted. There was a caution called on the restart and on the second try it appeared there was a second caution as the ref blew the whistle twice. Rayhart stopped action and looked at the ref as he awarded Johnson a one point escape. Clearly upset with the call Rayhart ended the period down (0-1).

In the third period Rayhart took bottom. The two scrambled and near the edge of the mat the ref called locked hands on on Johnson knotting the match even at 1 point. Rayhart capitalized on the opportunity and rolled into a reversal to go up late in the match (3-1). After a Johnson escape he went into desperation mode and Rayhart was warned for stalling before the final whistle blew.

Rayhart will go on to face #4 Steven McNeal (Central Dauphin) in the semifinals and is favored to advance into the finals punching his return ticket to the GIANT Center.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Leave a Comment