Heading into the lightweights, River Hill held a narrow, 11-6 lead. Normally, the transition from upperweights to lowerweights is a strength for the Hawks. But on Friday night, undefeated Michael Beck (106, 29-0) was sidelined with a knee injury.
If not for the injury, fans would have been treated to a match between Beck, a recent Franklin Invitational champion, and Glenelg's Tim Null (27-1), who won the War on the Shore tournament in early December.
When healthy, Beck was ranked No. 4 at 106 pounds by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, and Null is ranked No. 10.
Instead, Null scored a second-period pin over River Hill's talented Matt Shealy, giving his team a 12-11 lead.
But River Hill got the points back immediately when Potts, the JV call-up, scored a third-period pin.
"Throwing him at 113 and bumping Taariq (Mohammed) up, that was a huge decision that we made," Lauer said. "(Potts) went out and tried to wrestle as hard as he could."
The next three matches came down to the wire as Mohammed (120) defeated Glenelg freshman Parker Griffie, 4-3, on a takedown with less than 30 seconds left; Glenelg's Zach Shackelford (126) beat River Hill freshman Sean Guthier, 4-0; and River Hill's Lee Carter (132) scored an escape with 40 seconds left to edge Mike Budock, 1-0.
That gave way to the quick succession of pins which set the stage for the climactic finish.
Glenelg (2007-2008, 2010-2011) and River Hill (2009, 2012-2013) have combined to win each of the last seven Howard County titles.
River Hill, the defending state tournament champion, now has seven total dual meet county titles, compared to Glenelg's four.
Despite the loss, Glenelg (10-1, 11-1) will host the 1A/2A South regional dual tournament, next Wednesday, Feb. 6.
"Our focus now is on the dual meet (state title) ... when you get to that level, that's what it's going to be like," Glenelg coach Chris Rosas said. "This was a good warm up for that. We have a lot of experience but we also have a lot of inexperience and for the most part we haven't been in a real close dual meet where it comes down to the last match."
Both teams won regional dual titles last year.
Along with Beck, River Hill's Patrick Linden (126) was sidelined with an injury for the match, as was Glenelg's Joe Zoller (152).
Prior to the match, the Warhawks and Vipers — two of the best junior league programs in the state and feeders to Glenelg and River Hill — competed in an exhibition match.
River Hill 32, Glenelg 27
170: Sebastian Ames (RH, 10-15) dec. Matt Baxter (G, 13-5), 7-5. [3-0]
182: Anthony Pagnotta (G, 15-2) dec. Brian Kirby (RH, 23-5), 4-3. [3-3]
195: Cory Daniel (RH, 30-0) maj. Austin Twigg (G, 20-7), 15-5. [7-3]
220: Logan Kirby (RH, 24-0) maj. Craig Burris (G, 18-5), 13-4. [11-3]
285: Sean Twigg (G, 26-1) dec. Justin Nestor (RH, 23-7), 3-2. [11-6]
106: Tim Null (G, 27-1) pin Matt Shealy (RH, NA), 2:45. [11-12]
113: Alex Potts (RH, NA) pin Chris Winter (G, 12-9), 4:59. [17-12]
120: Taariq Mohammed (RH, 25-4) dec. Parker Griffie (G, 18-8), 4-3. [20-12]
126: Zach Shackelford (G, 14-8) dec. Sean Guthier (RH, 9-16), 4-0. [20-15]
132: Lee Carter (RH, 26-6) dec. Mike Budock (G, 23-6), 1-0. [23-15]
138: Ryan Carter (G, 23-7) pin Sam Harley (RH, NA), 3:00. [23-21]
145: Austin Pagnotta (G, 23-5) pin Patrick Gover (RH, 7-19), 1:42. [23-27]
152: Casey Guthier (RH, 23-6) pin Chris Dornan (G, NA), :43. [29-27]
160: Donovan Delore (RH, 13-18) dec. Troy Walter (G, 17-10), 1-0. [32-27]