After watching teammate Korbin Meink control his championship match, Bailey Vanderpool knew what was on the line when he stepped on the mat for the final match of the night.
A win by Vanderpool would give Omaha Skutt its 18th Class B team title in 19 years. Lose and Plattsmouth would take home the crown.
"That's pretty much the best thing that could be set up for me in my senior year, coming back from not wrestling at state last year," Vanderpool said. "To be able to win the team championship for my team made it all the better."
Vanderpool stayed in control of his 138-pound final against Josh Velasquez of Bennington, earning a 7-0 victory.
That win gave Skutt 162 points, 1 1/2 more than Plattsmouth. Gretna was third with 126.
"I knew what I had to do," said Vanderpool, who finished his senior season with a 23-0 record. "I just went out and wrestled a smart match."
Skutt had started Saturday with a seemingly safe 26 1/2-point lead on Plattsmouth. But the Blue Devils closed the gap to 153-152.5 heading into the finals as they had five wrestlers finish third in wrestlebacks.
Plattsmouth then took a 160.5-153 lead after its two finalists, Gage Orton (170) and Andrew Nielsen (113), earned wins. Overall, the Blue Devils went 12-1 on Saturday.
"If you would have told me we'd go 12-1 and put ourselves right back in the team race, I would have been ecstatic," Plattsmouth coach Curtis Gocke said. "Kudos to Skutt, they wrestled well, too. But our guys wrestled awesome today. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. We did everything we possibly could to give ourselves an opportunity."
After Plattsmouth's finalists won, Skutt had two wrestlers left — Meink and Vanderpool.
"I just told them to get after it," Skutt coach Chas DeVetter said.
Meink, a junior who became a three-time state champion, took a quick 4-1 lead on Nebraska City's Jordan Moyer and rolled to a 15-5 major decision at 120 pounds.
Three matches later, it was up to Vanderpool, a state finalist his first two years who missed last year's championship because of a suspension.
Vanderpool got a takedown with 40 seconds left in the first period, increased the lead to 5-0 after two periods and capped the win with another takedown with eight seconds left. After the win, Vanderpool immediately found his uncle Tony in the stands and gave him a long hug.
"He's the reason I am what I am today. He's been by my side the whole way," Vanderpool said.
The SkyHawks got another title in DeVetter's first season as coach. DeVetter was a 1999 state champion wrestler for State.
"I feel blessed to coach these guys," he said. "It's been an unbelievable season. To come back to Skutt and have this happen is unreal."
Plattsmouth's two champions were gold-medal winners for the first time.
Orton was a state runner-up the previous two seasons, but Saturday he got a takedown early in the third period to secure a 5-3 win over Nebraska City's Darin Sornson. Nielsen trailed Scottsbluff's Devontae Gutierrez 4-2 late in the second period before getting a takedown and three-point near-fall to turn the match. Nielsen, who finished fifth and third at state the past two years, held on for a 9-8 win.
Nielsen said watching his teammates bounce back for wins Saturday morning propelled him in his match.
"They showed they wanted to fight. And when they showed they wanted to fight, I had to show I wanted to fight," Nielsen said.
While Skutt, Plattsmouth and Ashland-Greenwood had two champions apiece, Gretna finished with three.
The Dragons' winners were Trevor Fauver (106), Dan Zeleny (132) and Logan Radik (220). Fauver won in sudden victory, Zeleny's deciding points came on a third-period reversal and Radik won 3-1 thanks to a takedown with 10 seconds left.
It's the first time in school history that the Dragons had three individual winners.
"We've had three kids in the finals before, but we've never done that," Gretna coach Matt Bruggeman said. "That's unbelievable for our program."