Francis Scott Key wrestling coach Bill Hyson said he entered this season with "cautious optimism."
Following last night's 40-20 win over county rival South Carroll, it's a pretty safe bet that Hyson can forget about the "cautious" part.
It wasn't easy for the Eagles, who improved to 8-0-1 on the season and a perfect 3-0 in the county.
They remain 5-0 in the MonocacyValley Athletic League.
"We're a young team, and going into everymatch you never know what can happen," Hyson said.
"We won some matches we needed to win, and they (South Carroll) did a real nice job."
South Carroll falls to 8-4 on the season and remain winless in county action at 0-3.
"It was a disappointing loss," South Carrollcoach Pete Olson said.
"We lost two crucial matches in the lower middle weights that we weren't counting on in (Jeff) Irvine and (Paul) McGinley.
"Pins were also a big factor again."
Francis Scott Key had a 4-2 edge in pins.
The Cavs took an early 3-0 lead on a decision win by freshman Dan Peiffer over Larry Crowl in the 103-poundclass.
Francis Scott Key answered by winning the next five matches to take what appeared to be a commanding 23-3 lead.
Freshman Randy Owings (119) and freshman Zac Yinger (130) both recorded pins during the stretch, while sophomore Chris Beale won by technical fall.
South Carroll rallied, with senior Eric Hood getting things started with a decision over Key senior Joe Wenck in the 140-pound division.
Junior Matt Crill (145) and freshman Steve Yokay (152) both recorded pins for South Carroll to cut the lead to 23-18.
In the 160-pound division, Key junior Ed Null jumped out to a 7-2 lead before junior Andy Hohman rallied to tie things up in the final seconds to put the score at 25-20.
Hohman came close to pinning Null in the final seconds of the match, but Null contained him to settle for the draw.
Key won the final three matches to take the 40-20 margin.
SeniorNorman Jones won by decision over junior Leo Fryrear while Dale Bloom (189) pinned senior Matt DeMoss and Mark Smith got the pin for the Eagles in the heavyweight match against junior Henry Oswald.
Key'swin last night could set the stage for a battle of undefeated countyteams next Wednesday when the Eagles entertain perennial county powerhouse North Carroll -- provided the Panthers aren't upset by Westminster tomorrow.
"We just need to work on preparing every individualin every match and go from there," Hyson said.
Francis Scott Key coasted to victory in the junior-varsity preliminary contest, 51-12.