With only a Jan. 30 meeting against unheralded Middletown remaining, Francis Scott Key all but clinched the Monocacy Valley League crown with Saturday's 48-18 rout of Smithsburg.
The Eagles, ranked No. 2 in the area and No. 5 by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, improved to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the league.
The Bill Hyson-coached Eagles are 2-0 in the Carroll County League, with their toughest matches remaining tomorrow against South Carroll, ranked No. 9 in the area, and North Carroll (Feb. 1), ranked No. 7 in the area.
Against Smithsburg, Jason Fogus (103), Matt Yinger (112), Ryan Etzler (119), J.T. Chiaruttini (160), Robert Buntin (171) and John Frech (Hwt) notched pins, Bobby Bollinger (189) received a forfeit, and third-ranked Randy Owings (145) and top-ranked Zac Yinger (152) earned decisions.
Zac Yinger, a state champ, is 16-0, and two-time state champ Owings is 17-1. Etzler improved to 13-1, Chiaruttini to 6-1, Matt Yinger to 15-3, Bollinger to 13-4 and Buntin to 12-5.
In the best bout of the match, Francis Scott Key's fifth-ranked Steve Lessard (135) dropped a 2-1 decision to Smithsburg's Kris Dietrich, who two years ago placed third in the 1A-2A state tournament. Lessard dropped to 16-2. Among Lessard's victories is a 7-4 win over Old Mill's regional runner-up Paul Hultgren, who last week defeated North Carroll's fifth-ranked regional champ Tommy Kiler, 6-2.
North Hagerstown Tourney
Defending 1A-2A state champ Damascus overwhelmed the 16-team field in the weekend's North Hagerstown tournament, but Westminster (seventh) and Liberty (10th) each had individual winners.
For Westminster, Matt Warner (125) was second, Charlie Minor (140) was third, and Bobby Biden (103) and Jason Hare (171) each were fourth. Liberty's Joe Smith (112) was second and Scott Taylor (171) third.
Warner dropped a 7-2 title bout decision to Whitman's Chris Elwood.
Elwood had earlier beaten Magruder's James Phalin, 2-0, and Nick York, 3-0. Phalin and York entered the tournament tied for fourth in the Maryland State Wrestling Association rankings.
Warner had reached the title bout on a technical fall, major decision and a decision.
Biden dropped to 1-2 against Frederick's Dusty Bane, being pinned by him in their third-place match after beating Bane, 8-1, earlier in the tournament.
For Liberty, Smith reached the title bout on two pins, including a first period fall over Frederick's Kevin Ferraro. He then met Williamsport's fourth-ranked Billy Baker, a third place finisher in last year's 1A-2A state tournament, and was pinned in 1:35.
Taylor twice beat Hare in the tournament, securing third place with his second victory.
Bobcats beat Gators
Last tuesday, Bel Air's struggling squad, coached by Craig Reddish, scored its biggest victory of the year, 39-33, over then-No. 14 Perry Hall.
Trailing, 33-21, the Bobcats closed with pins from Romain Russell (171), Jeremiah Albright (189) and -- with the scored tied at 33 -- heavyweight Joseph Eunice in 1:45.
The Bobcats had fallen behind, 24-0, after the first four matches, including two forfeits, when Matt Birth (130) -- coming off of a bout with pneumonia -- sparked his club with a 27-second pin.
After that, Bel Air won six of the next eight bouts, including a 6-2 decision by Shawn Loper (135), a forfeit to Bryan Stewart (140) -- whose only loss came by 8-6 to North Carroll's fifth-ranked Tom Kiler -- and a pin by Jason Smith (145).
1. Mount St. Joseph (6-0)
2. Francis Scott Key (10-0)
3. Old Mill (10-0)
4. Northeast (12-0)
5. Owings Mills (12-0)
6. Broadneck (8-2)
7. North Carroll (9-2)
8. Aberdeen (9-1)
9. South Carroll (10-1)
10. Oakland Mills (8-3)
11. Gilman (4-0)
12. Dulaney (9-1)
13. Sparrows Point (9-1)
14. North Harford (8-2)
15. Hereford (9-1)
Other teams receiving consideration: Perry Hall (8-2), Arundel (8-3), Pikesville (7-2), Chesapeake-AA (7-3), Eastern Tech (6-2), John Carroll (6-2), Boys' Latin (4-0), Curley (2-2).