UNION BRIDGE -- Last night was essentially billed as a coming-out party for a youthful No. 10 Francis Scott Key wrestling team, which played host to defending Carroll County champion and No. 3 North Carroll.
North Carroll was still smarting from two seasons back, when the Eagles ended the Panthers' 48-match winning streak, 33-22, to win the dual-meet title. But this season's Eagles (8-1-1, 3-1), who comprise four freshmen, a sophomore, six juniors and just two seniors, lost, 50-15, to the Panthers (11-1, 4-0).
In a gymnasium packed with screaming fans, North Carroll turned a 9-8 deficit after the first four bouts, into a 32-9 lead by sweeping the next five.
Andy Rill (130, 18-1) overcame a 4-0 first-period deficit for a 6-5 win over Eagles freshman Zac Yinger (14-3); third-ranked Tommy Dell (135, 14 pins) and Dan Horner (140, eight) each improved to 17-1 with pins; sophomore Saidrick Lewis (145, 12-6) won a decision; and Ron Miller (152, 15-4) recorded his ninth fall.
The Eagles trailed, 32-15, after junior Ed Null (160, 18-2-1) overcame a 5-0 lead with his second period pin of North Carroll's Shawn Utz, but the Panthers' Chris Boog (171, 15-5) put the match mathematically out of reach, 38-15, with his 11th pin.
For the winning margin, the Panthers' Jim Leete (189, 11-6) recorded his seventh pin, and his 6-foot-7 heavyweight teammate Derrick Poznaniak (12-2) recorded his eighth pin over 275-pound Mark Smith.
"We were really up for this match. On the way up here on the bus, you could hear a pin drop," said 17th-year North Carroll Coach Dick Bauerlein, who won his 202nd career dual meet as the Panthers captured the regular-season title.
In the early bouts, the Panthers' fifth-ranked sophomore Jeremy Myers (103, 17-1) picked up his 14th pin in first period and the Eagles' freshman Steve Lassard (112, 15-5) grabbed an 8-4 decision.
The 119-pound bout offered a rematch between North Carroll junior Andy Kiler (14-3-2) and freshman Randy Owings (18-3-1), who went 2-2 against each other as junior league wrestlers. This one ended in a scoreless tie.