There won't be any dual-meet quizzes this season for Old Mill coach Mike Hampe's youthful two-time defending Class 4A/3A state champion wrestling squad.
"They're all tests," said Hampe, standing in the Gilman School's new Redmond C.S. Finney Athletic Center last night.
His visiting Patriots (1-0) had just gotten past their first test by overcoming an 18-5 deficit after six bouts to defeat Gilman, 38-24, in their season-opening dual meet.
The victory extends Old Mill's dual-meet winning streak to 27.
The Patriots rallied for their first lead, 26-24, with two bouts left after junior Brian Layman's first-period pin at 171 pounds. Ernie Longazel (180) and heavyweight Don Marco also registered pins to pad the victory.
"They got those key falls in the upper weights to come through," said Gilman coach Chris Legg, whose team fell to 1-1. "There were a few lower-weight bouts that could have gone our way."
Layman, a defending county and regional champion, missed last Saturday's season-opening Annapolis tournament.
"I had been rolling around in practice, but I still wasn't in the best of shape," said Layman, who pinned Sam Mir in 1 minute, 28 seconds. "I knew we needed it, but I just took the match real slow."
Longazel then built a 14-0 lead over Gilman's Mike Weinfeld before putting him away with eight seconds remaining in the match.
"I lost to him last year. I was beating him, 4-0, and he caught me and that was it," said Longazel, who was fourth in last year's county and regional tournaments. "I usually wrestle at 171, but coach asked me if I could go at 189 yesterday."
Old Mill fell behind, 15-2, after the first four bouts and didn't get a victory until Young Chang (130) won a 5-2 decision over Alex Slagle.
Gilman's fast-moving, muscular sophomore Gerard Harris (103) set the tone for what would be an exciting evening by handing Old Mill's Steve Lundstrom his first loss of the season, 9-8.
But Gilman's momentum was slowed a bit at 112 when the Patriots' Vytas Dulys battled Mike Henke to a 4-4 draw. Gilman's Brad Wilke (119) then decked Chuck Meddles in the second period, and John Kim (125) decisioned Old Mill's Bob Sugden, 14-2.
Old Mill trailed, 18-5, after John Fishman's decision at 135, but Brent Layman (140), Brian's older brother, and John Bliss (145) registered pins in the second and third periods, respectively, to close the gap to 18-17.
Gilman's David Gilner (152) overcame a 5-0 first-period deficit against John Earle with a second-period pin, but after Old Mill's Sun Park (160) decisioned Mark Procaccini, the Patriots trailed by only 24-20, setting up Brian Layman's match-winning bout.