HAMPSTEAD — Old Mill and North Carroll's wrestling teams met Friday night to do what Georgia Tech and Colorado could not: break a first-place tie.
A huge spotlight hung over the mat as the teams -- both ranked No. 1 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association -- wrestled an exciting match in front of packed stands and a boisterous crowd.
Old Mill's Ernie Longazel (189 pounds) ended the high drama by locking up the victory -- and the top spot. Longazel's 5-3 decision over North Carroll's Bill Lubking (10-4) put the Patriots ahead, 33-21,and the match mathematically out of the Panthers' reach.
Old Mill's No. 3-ranked heavyweight, Don Marco (13-2), pinned Scott Coghill for the winning 39-21 margin.
"Old Mill has really got it going,"said North Carroll coach Dick Bauerlein, whose Panthers finished second to the Patriots by one point two years ago in the Class 4A/3A state tournament.
"They're tough kids, and they're slick kids. They'll be tough to beat in the state tournament this year and in the next couple of years."
The Panthers (5-1) took third in the state last year and had won 51 of their last 52 dual-meet matches. Francis Scott Key stopped the Panthers' winning streak at 47 last year.
Two-time defending state champion Old Mill (4-0) improved its dual-meet unbeaten streak to 30.
The two coaches stared across the mat as dual-meet opponents for the first time Friday night. Bauerlein and Old Mill coach Mike Hampe -- each in his 16th season -- had never had their teams wrestle in a head-to-head dual meet.
During the Hampe-Bauerlein tenure, the two programs had met only in annual preseason scrimmages and the postseason Class 4A/3A state tournament.
Yet, for the past two seasons, the Old Mill and North Carroll wrestling teams boasted a heated rivalry -- the level of which was matched only by the friendship between the opposing coaches.
North Carroll was coming off a fourth-place finish in the Delone, Pa., tournament and Old Mill was coming off of a third-place finish in the St. Stephen's, Va., tournament.
The Patriots took the first two bouts and a 9-0 lead.No. 2-ranked Steve Lundstrom (103) broke a 2-2 tie with his second-period pin of North Carroll's Jeremy Myers.
Then Vytas Dulys builta 7-2 lead over North Carroll's Chad Miller and hung on to win, 7-5.Dulys' bout was a key bout, which Hampe said his squad desperately needed to win.
Dulys had to lose 3 pounds to make weight.
"I was sluggish in my first match. I was tired -- I knew the moves, butthey just weren't working," said the junior, who spent most of the day doing calisthenics in the Old Mill wrestling room. "But against North Carroll, I had a feeling I was going to win. The rest between matches helped, and so did Steve Lundstrom's match."
North Carroll took a 12-9 lead with back-to-back pins in the next two bouts. North Carroll's top-ranked Tom Dell (119) improved to 11-1 with a victory over Bob Sugden, and his No. 3-ranked teammate, Justin Deibel (125), improved to 10-1 with a pin of Rick Oleszczuk.
Bauerlein's 130-pounder Andy Rill and 135-pounder Scott Bruce each had been injured before the match.
Rill, who was in a car accident last week, wrestled with stitches in the back of his head, coming through with a 7-2 decision over Young Chang to increase the Panthers' lead to 15-9.
Bruce, who suffered a head-butt accident in the Delone tournament and wore a face mask in his match with Old Mill's Todd Hultgren, blew a 2-0 first-period lead and lost, 9-4.
That made the score 15-12, in favor of North Carroll.
At 140 pounds, most fans expected to see Old Mill's No. 1-ranked Brent Layman (14-1) against North Carroll's unbeaten and No. 6-ranked Jason Myers. But the 135-pound bout -- which Bauerlein had hoped to win -- changed the complexion of the match, and Myers was moved up to 145 pounds to wrestle Old Mill's John Bliss.
"We thought we should win at 112 and 135, and when we didn't, we felt we had no choice but to make the switch," Bauerlein said. "Thosetwo weight classes were the ones we were counting on."
Bauerlein moved the rest of his wrestlers up in weight, but the maneuver backfired, as the Panthers lost the next two bouts.
Layman built a 13-2 lead before pinning Ron Miller in 4 minutes and 39 seconds.
Then Bliss handed 10-game winner Myers his first loss of the season, 5-4. Old Mill's lead increased to 21-15.
"I didn't think Myers would come up to wrestle me," said Bliss, who improved to 13-3. "But I felt I was ready. I wrestle Brent in practice so I know what it's liketo wrestle a good guy."
Hampe said: "I said, if we're going to lose, then Bliss' match was the one we were going to die in. But John showed his grit."
Old Mill's John Earle (152) improved his record to 13-4 with his technical fall victory over Bobby Alban in a wildmatch. The Patriots led, 26-15.
Dave Foster (10-1), North Carroll's other top-ranked wrestler, who usually wrestles at 152, moved upto 160 to face Old Mill's Sun Park. He finished Park in 3:28 to bring the Panthers to within 26-21.
Brian Layman (171) also moved up in weight and used three takedowns, four back points and a pair of escapes to earn a 14-4 major decision over Chris Arthur. With the win, Layman became the Patriots' only unbeaten wrestler at 9-0 and pushed the Patriots ahead, 30-21, with two bouts left.
"I knew we had towin at lease three of the last four matches and two of the first sixto win the match," Hampe said.