Scorpions win at the last minute

January 27, 1995|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

In the blink of an eye, Oakland Mills heavyweight Brian Howard snatched victory from defeat, ruined Howard Lions co-coach Dan Ricker's homecoming and preserved Oakland Mills' unbeaten county record.

A victory would have put the Lions (4-4-1 overall, 4-1-1 league) in first place with two league matches left, and would have been a memorable moment in Ricker's coaching career.

He led Oakland Mills to four dual meet and four tournament championships during the four seasons he coached at Oakland Mills, and this was his first match at his old school since becoming co-coach at Howard this season.

Instead, it was a moment of glory for Oakland Mills (13-3, 5-0), which held on to win, 36-27, despite a rally by Howard. The Lions trailed 27-4 at one point.

Heading into the heavyweight bout Oakland Mills led, 30-27. Lions sophomore heavyweight Brian Neal, however, was a definite favorite over Howard, a first-year junior.

TTC In the third period, the 210-pound Howard trailed, 12-4, and his No. 10 Scorpions appeared beaten by the underdog Lions. Neal (13-4) was in control -- apparently headed for a four-point major decision that would have given Howard a one-point upset.

Howard (14-10) had been pinned nine times and was almost pinned by Neal in the first period. He was struggling.

Neal lost concentration for a split-second as he adjusted his headgear midway through the third period. Howard pounced and took Neal down.

Neal held on until Howard pinned him with 15 seconds left. Neal had been pinned only once.

"This was my best win," Howard said. "They surprised us. We didn't think it'd be that close. This was the third time this season that the match came down to me. I lost the first one to Lackey, but have won the last two against Thomas Stone and Howard. Neal got distracted. I got him in a bear hug and took him to his back."

Howard co-coach Joe Thomas said: "We didn't expect to get upset at heavyweight. We didn't stay off our backs and that cost us the match."

The Lions trailed 27-4 after Matt Sutton pinned Reggie Ray at 135 pounds.

Two-time county champion Eric Paskin (18-1) started Howard's comeback by scoring a major decision over Casey Moffett, 13-4, at 140 pounds. Moffett came within two points of a technical fall before battling back.

Matt Sartwell pulled Howard to 27-12 with his 15-3 major decision over Josh Crickard at 145 pounds.

Kurt Ricketts momentarily stemmed Howard's surge with a 5-0 decision over Lucas Santwell at 152 pounds.

But Chris Poling, who had dropped down, pinned Scott Sheldon at 160. Frank Tortella, who also dropped, decisioned Colin Meeks at 171. And freshman Ken Neal, wrestling his first county varsity match, pinned Brian Frizzelle.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.