Robbie Allen wore a smile and a five-inch red welt under his right eye after Atholton upset South Carroll, 37-25, yesterday during a tri-meet at Centennial.
Allen, fourth in the county last season, edged Josh Wampler, 6-5, with a third-period near fall as time was running out. Wampler had beaten a fourth-place state finisher the previous Tuesday.
"He had me in a headlock and I was scared," Allen said. "I thought it was over. I was out of strength and breath, but I gave my best effort."
Eighth-ranked South Carroll (3-1) was 16-1 last season and the Carroll County champion.
Allen's 135-pound decision boosted No. 11 Atholton's lead to 16-7, as the upstart Raiders had built the formidable lead on a pin by Doug Ramsey at 103, a 10-4 decision by Wes Lipple at 112 and a 15-3 major decision by Mike Shoemaker at 119.
The Ramsey pin at 103 was unexpected by South Carroll coach Pete Olson, who also had expected a Cavaliers victory at 112.
Defending county and region champ Dan Patterson at 125 and Kellen Weber at 130 won decisions to put the Cavaliers on the scoreboard. Weber, almost pinned in the first period when he fell behind 9-2, rallied for an 18-10 major decision.
The Cavaliers took the lead, 19-16, on a Brian Hamper pin at 140 and an Atholton forfeit at 145.
After Atholton's Adam Roth held off a late surge by Travis Mohlhenrich for an 11-8 decision, Tim Curtis earned a pin for a 25-19 South Carroll lead.
But it was all Atholton (2-0) after that, as the Raiders pinned out the last three matches with Mark Carbone, Brian Mullinix and Joe Levine.
"People said we'd fall back down to earth today," Mullinix said. "We've worked hard getting in shape and wanted to show people we were no joke."
Olson said that Atholton was in better shape than some on his team and pointed to Allen's win at 135 as the key match.
Atholton coach Bruce Linblad agreed that 135 was crucial. "Shoemaker was also outstanding and Levine clinched it for us," he said. "They deserved this win. Their goal is to make the dual meet championships after going 9-5 and just missing it last year."
In other matches, South Carroll defeated Centennial, 58-18, and Atholton defeated Centennial, 65-6.