WHITING | The new overtime system for the NFL playoffs will likely provoke confusion and controversy whenever it first comes into play.
The prep wrestling overtime system -- though previously established -- can also prove to be daunting.
When River Forest's Michael Manning scored a reversal in overtime against Hobart's Joe Peco in the 171-pound championship match of the Lake County Tournament held Jan. 8 at Clark High School, it appeared to be the first time an Ingot had won a LC tourney title. But not so fast.
"It wasn't sudden victory," Manning said about the clarification that negated the euphoria from Ingots fans, who thought Manning had won the thriller when the match appeared to have been stopped.
"I still had to wrestle another (30-second) tiebreaker period with him in the down position," said Manning, who managed to keep Peco from scoring to finally win 5-3 in triple overtime.
The two archrivals from nearby schools battled to a 3-3 tie through regulation, and then squared off in a one-minute "sudden victory" period, where both wrestlers nearly scored takedowns to end it.
"Usually, overtime doesn't get that far," River Forest coach Tim Gault said of the two tiebreaker periods that come after a scoreless sudden victory period.
The not-so-sudden victory improved Manning's undefeated record to 24-0. It also earned him the meet's "Outstanding Wrestler" award.
"This is my biggest win of my career," Manning said. "It was definitely my toughest. He was a state-ranked wrestler, so hopefully I could build on that."
Last year, as a junior, Manning won more than 30 matches and advanced as far as the regional. This year he hopes to stick around a little longer during the postseason.
"(Manning) has a saying he often repeats: 'You never know'," Gault said. "If he can make it downstate this year? ... 'You never know'."