Sparked by Mike DiLeonardi's upset of defending state champ Mark Chesla at 152 pounds, No. 2 Old Mill rallied past unranked Anne Arundel County 4A League rival and host Arundel, 37-20, last night.
The Patriots (5-0, 1-0), who were coming off a victory over No. 6 Broadneck of the 2A-3A league, moved into sole possession of first place in the 4A, but had early trouble against the Wildcats (4-2, 3-1).
Arundel, coming off a 46-16 win over No. 12 Severna Park, had capitalized in the first four bouts for a 16-0 lead, including a pin by recent Old Mill transfer Phil Schleifer (119).
But a 16-2 decision by Old Mill's Tim Patterson (130) began a string of three straight wins that brought the Patriots within 16-13.
It included a decision by regional runner-up Paul Hultgren (135) and a pin by state runner-up Nick Basta (140).
PD The Wildcats countered for a 20-13 lead after Isaac Haertel's ma
jor decision at 145 -- but it would be Arundel's final win.
DiLeonardi established a furious pace, building a 6-0 lead en route to a 9-3 decision over Chesla, who was wrestling down from 160 for the first time this year.
"It was my first match down at , and I wasn't aggressive enough. I was letting him bring the match to me," said Chesla (9-1). "I didn't wrestle my style and let him get too much momentum going."
DiLeonardi, a county runner-up and regional champ last year, allowed the top-ranked Chesla to come within 6-3 entering the third period.
But just as Chesla got started, DiLeonardi closed with an escape and recorded his third takedown of the match.
"I really didn't have a strategy except to pressure, pressure, pressure," said DiLeonardi. "This doesn't change anything though. It's just another match. I still have to stay focused."
A pin in 26 seconds by Mike Hines (160) gave Old Mill its first lead of the match, 22-20, before Mike Ruth (171) edged Arundel's Rod Taylor, 4-2, on a takedown with 26 seconds left, and Eric Donoway (189) clinched the match, 31-20, with a first-period pin.
County champ Don Patterson, the Patriots' regular at 189 pounds, pinned at heavyweight for the margin of victory.
Arundel had the early advantage, beginning with Justin Beeler (103) overcoming a 4-1 second-period deficit for an 8-4 decision over Old Mill's Brandon Croghan, and teammate Brian Schroeder (112) shutting out Jarod Marquadt, 11-0.
Two bouts later, Chad Webber (125) headlocked Old Mill's Gary Serago for a 5-0 first-period lead and hung on to win, 8-5.