Bel Air clinched its sixth straight UCBAC Chesapeake Division wrestling title Friday night, knocking off visiting Patterson Mill, 42-21. The Bobcats won nine bouts, including the night's feature match at 220-pounds, between Bel Air's Cyler Crawford and Patterson Mill's Eric Eckstein.
That match was the fourth bout of the evening, after Bel Air had won two of the first three for an early 9-6 lead.
The 220 match was an even one throughout and needed overtime for Crawford to capture a 5-3 win. Eckstein, who came into the bout undefeated with 28 straight wins, scored first with a takedown, but Crawford used a reverse to pull even 2-2 through one period.
An escape by Crawford was the only point of the second period and an escape by Eckstein was the lone point of the third period. In the 1:00 overtime period, Eckstein appeared to have recorded a winning takedown, but the referee didn't award it. Seconds later, Crawford landed the takedown and the 5-3 win.
"I thought I had the takedown, but it's my fault that I didn't continue to wrestle until the ref made the call," Eckstein said. "Just got to be ready for the next match."
Eckstein's coach, Ryan Arist, thought his wrestler had scored. "I think it was a clear takedown," Arist said. "The ref's interpretation was that there was no reaction time, he popped back up. My interpretation is he was down for three or four seconds."
The Crawford win pushed the Bel Air lead to 12-6. It quickly ballooned to 21-9 after Dakota Crawford's 5-1 decision over Brian Whitby at 285 and a forfeit for David Reagan at 106.
The Huskies, however, won the next three weight classes to tighten the meet. Colin McDonald edged Gavin Rupprecht, 4-2, at 113, while Brent Iwanowski used a cradle to pin Kenny Scoggins in 2:36 at 120. Jake Nikkila closed out the wins, holding off Brady Stafford in the final seconds for a 5-3 decision. That win closed the gap to 21-18.
Bel Air, though, flexed and with four straight wins, three by pin, ran the score up to 42-18 with one bout to wrestle.
Ryan Beveridge started the wins, pinning Connor Allmon in 3:00 at 132. Sam Guo followed at 138 with hard-fought 1-0 decision over Connor Ries. Cameron Watts and John Cross then finished off the Bel Air wins. Watts decked Juan Bustamante in 4:38 at 145 and Cross stopped Gavin Adams in 2:18 at 152.
Patterson Mill closed out the meet with a win, as Josh Holbrook edged Pablo Chavarria, 5-3, at 160.
Bel Air's wins to start the meet were a pin for Grant Fleming at 170 and an 8-2 decision for Tom Gomez at 182. Patterson Mill's other win came at 195 with Joe King collecting a pin.
"We had three varsity guys out of our lineup and I knew that was going to hurt us," Arist said. "It wouldn't have changed the outcome, but it would have been closer."
Huskies split on Saturday
Patterson Mill was back in action Saturday, traveling to Middletown to compete in a tri-meet with the host Kniigts and Liberty. The Huskies were beaten by a strong Middletown team, 51-15, but did some winning of their own against Liberty, 62-16.
Against Middletown, Nikkila, King, and Whitby each won decisions, while Eckstein won by pin.
Winning by pin against Liberty were McDonald, Iwanowski, Ries, Bustamante, Holbrook and Eckstein. Other winners included Paul Difonzo, Wilkenson, Josh Johnston, King and Whitby.
Bobcats sweep tri-meet
The Bel Air wrestling team warmed up for Friday night's key UCBAC battle with Patterson Mill, by sweeping a tri-meet at Gilman, that also included St. Mary's.
The Bobcats beat St. Mary's, 54-24, and Gilman, 42-30.