Mike Chenoweth is a two-time state wrestling champ and is expected to be South Carroll's top rushing threat this season.
But at halftime in the opener against Wilde Lake he had only seven yards on four carries and was trying to shake off the throes of a bad cold.
"The trainer gave me a massage at halftime, and he put some kind of icy hot stuff on my throat that cleared up my nostrils and let me breathe," Chenoweth said. "In the first half my throat was swollen and I had to keep coming off the field."
The treatment was a huge success. Chenoweth rushed 10 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns in the second half, and the Cavaliers shook off a pesky Wilde Lake team, 27-12. Chenoweth finished with 148 yards on 14 carries -- his best career effort.
Wilde Lake received an equally auspicious effort from junior running back Dain Lewis who carried 31 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilde Lake closed to within two points, 14-12, with 5:52 left in the fourth quarter on Lewis' 11-yard run that culminated in a spinning lunge to the goal line.
But the Wildecats failed to convert on a pass to tight end Tony Jackson, and on the next series Chenoweth ran 64 yards for a touchdown, putting the game out of reach.
Three turnovers held back South Carroll in the first half. Quinton Collins recovered a fumble and made an interception for Wilde Lake and Sean Jefferson recovered a fumble.
"We showed some good signs but just didn't play well," Wilde Lake coach Doug DuVal said. "We made too many mistakes." Wilde Lake made two second-half turnovers, an interception by South Carroll's Shaun O'Neill and a fumble recovery by Will Selby.
"What made the difference was no turnovers for us in the second half," South Carroll coach Gene Brown said. "We played well and showed heart. Any time you beat a Doug DuVal team you've done well. Number 40 [Lewis] was super and their quarterback [Jeff Johnson] played well. Chenoweth is our horse."
Chenoweth credited his line for his success. "The line was awesome and opened huge holes that we were all talking about," he said.
South Carroll scored on its first possession, a 48-yard, three-play drive that ended with Bryce Baker's 34-yard run.
Wilde Lake countered with a 63-yard drive that included a 27-yard pass to Tony Jackson. Lewis scored on a 1-yard run but the Cavs stopped a fake conversion to keep it 7-6.