Century senior wrestler Jack Akers talks about his team's win over Winters Mill.
Century High wrestling coach Steve Willingham knows he can rely on undefeated senior heavyweights Jack Akers and Sam Rothstein.
Both Akers and Rothstein prevailed in early matches to help the Knights build a thin lead on Winters Mill, and they never relinquished it in a 38-31 victory over the visiting Falcons Wednesday night.
"The two big guys set the tone," Willingham said. "They are two of my go-to guys. It's such a blessing to be able to have two heavyweights to fill in a lineup because sometimes it can be a spot where they're aren't a lot of wrestlers, but I have two great wrestlers."
Since a 13-point dual-meet loss to Westminster and a lackluster team performance in the North Hagerstown Duals, Century has won the Francis Scott Francis Jeff Yingling Memorial Wrestling Tournament and beaten Winters Mill.
Willingham, a first-year coach, thinks that's a big deal.
"I think we have turned it around and I feel we are right where we need to be," he said. "We got the guys wrestling where they should be as far as the weight classes. They work extremely hard. I preach to them to be able to wrestle into that third period, and we are finishing matches in the third with falls."
Winters Mill's Alex Miller (195, 14-5) got the first pin of the night, decking Camden Hebert in 2:43.
That would be the Falcons only lead of the night, however.
Century took the three bouts to go ahead 16-6. Akers (220, 11-0) pinned A.J. Holmes in 1:48 and Sam Rothstein (285, 13-0) scored a 19-8 decision over Kyle Shanholtz (11-3) and Stephen Hurst (106) pinned Hunter Mason in 1:15.
It was Holmes' second loss of the season as he dropped to 17-2.
Winters Mill's Zach King (113, 7-7) got a forfeit to trim the lead to 16-12 before Century prevailed in the next two matches. Brenden Cline (120, 5-6) beat Colby Unkhart, 6-2, and Dylan Fitzgerald (126, 10-8) blanked Logan Konold, 9-0, to boost the Knights' lead to 23-12 — their largest.
But the Falcons trimmed the lead to 23-21 when Nico Vagnier (132, 14-5) topped Nathan Haerbig, 8-4, Bailey Konold (138, 12-3) pinned pinned Drew Miceli (5-10) in 1:39.
Two bouts later, Winters Mill narrowed the gap to 26-25 with Troy Blessing's 19-10 conquest of Kevin Pearson at 152.
But Century soon clinched the match, getting back-to-back pins from Cody Davis (170, 17-1) and Brett Wardle (160, 16-1).