Led by champions Eric Paskin (140), Chris Poling (160) and Brian Neal (Hwt.), Howard finished second to Rising Sun, ranked No. 10 in the state, in Saturday's nine-team Edgewood Tournament.
Finishing second for Howard were T. J. Dameron (112, 16-4) and Matt Sartwell (152), and sixth-ranked Frank Tortella (189, 19-1) was third.
Also third for the Lions were Nathan Fortlage (125) and Josh Rosenblatt (130). Fortlage, a 6-1 semifinal loser to eventual champion Eric Nelson of Edgewood, pinned his opponent in 45 seconds to take third, and Rosenblatt (130) was third after a 12-0 decision.
Reggie Ray (135) and Joel Hege (145) were fourth for Howard.
Howard was coming off last week's 36-27 loss to Oakland Mills, which was decided after the heavyweight match. Neal led his match against Oakland Mills' Brian Howard, 12-4, and -- with his team trailing, 30-27 -- appeared to be on his way to a major decision worth the four team points necessary to hoist his squad to victory.
But with 15 seconds left, Neal was pinned by Howard (14-10), who had been decked nine times.
In his title bout Saturday, however, Neal set the record straight.
He trailed, 8-3, against Rising Sun's John Zellman -- who entered the bout at 17-3 -- before planting him in 3:55. Neal had twice survived nearly being pinned by Zellman.
Sixth-ranked county and regional champ Paskin (19-1) held off Rising Sun's Cory Hall, 6-2. Hall entered the bout with an 18-2 record.
For Poling (18-2), his title bout with Baltimore County champion Rex Marshall (18-3) was a rematch of the Friends' Tournament title tilt of the previous weekend.
At Friends, Poling beat Marshall, 12-7. Saturday, Marshall jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, nearly pinning Poling. But Poling stormed back, using six back points and two reversals for a 13-10 decision.
Marshall's slate of wins includes a 7-6 decision over another Baltimore County champion, Woodlawn's Mykol Thomas.
Tortella had hoped to meet his toughest opponent to date: Rising Sun's second-ranked Bruce Knisely (19-0), who easily reached the final, but Tortella was upended by a familiar foe -- Eastern Tech's Jamie Blankenship.
Tortella had beaten Blankenship in their title bout of the Friends Tournament, but fell in overtime this week, 4-2. Blankenship was a runner-up to Knisely.
Bruce's Gopher glory
Glen Burnie's Jeremy Bruce has no doubt taken his lumps as the Gophers' 130-pounder in Anne Arundel County.
His weight class in Anne Arundel includes Southern's top-ranked state champion Tyrone Neal, Old Mill's state runner-up Nick Basta and Broadneck's Lonnie Donner.
But Bruce had a chance to step away at the Edgewood Tournament.
Though he entered with a 6-9 record, Bruce won three straight matches, including an 11-6 title bout decision over Eastern Tech's Ricky Rowan.