Trailing big early against visiting Severna Park, usually strong Arundel needed something to happen -- and fast.
Enter Pat Ortman.
The senior captain needed little more than a minute to pin Severna Park's Blake Becker at 130 pounds, providing his team with the necessary jump-start.
The Wildcats' experience took over from there, enabling them to come away with a 38-27 win over Severna Park in the feature of a tri-match last night that included South River.
Earlier, Severna Park defeated South River, 43-17, with the Wildcats following with a 45-17 win over the Seahawks to set the stage for finale.
With his Wildcats down 21-0 against Severna Park, Ortman showed no panic in breaking down Becker, getting the much-needed six points with 1: 06 gone in the first period.
"I didn't feel any pressure at all. I knew in my heart I could get the six [team points], and my teammates backed me up," said Ortman. "We got some energy flowing, and that's the kind of team we are. Once something happens like that, the team gets pumped up."
The Falcons had no one for the 135-pound match, and Arundel's Pat Crouse followed with a pin over Jessie Iliff 39 seconds into the 140-pound class to cut the lead to 21-18. Greg Klingler kept things rolling for the Wildcats at 145 with a 15-0 technical fall over Jon Love, giving them their first lead at 23-21.
Pins from Matt Neidig (171) and heavyweight Jeff Blachly completed the comeback.
"That was a very good Severna Park team. They have a lot back, and we knew we had to wrestle well," said Arundel coach Buddy Hepfer. "It was nice to luck out and win against a good team, but we can't always get down 21-0 and expect to win against good teams. Our lighter weights are going to have to come around."
The Falcons' lighter weights did their part with pins from Soci Mamalis (103), Dan Fitzgerald (112), Dan Horne (125) and a gutsy 14-13 decision from Steve McManamay over Shannon Webber at 119.
But some inexperience at the middle weights and the free six points coming from the forfeit proved the difference.
Matt Negrete (152) and Dan Seger (189) later earned decisions for the Falcons, who continue to inch closer to the county's elite teams.
"I was real happy with my team," said Severna Park coach Ralph Toomey. "Arundel is always tough, always ready, and they never stop coming. Any time you can beat an Arundel kid, you're doing something, because Buddy Hepfer always has them ready. We'll give a lot of teams fits, and this sets the tone for the rest of the season."
In the Falcons opening win against South River last night, Fitzgerald, Becker and heavyweight Nick DeAngelis all scored pins. Mamalis got things off to a fast start with a technical fall win over Anthony Tucker at 103.
Ortman and Neidig also scored pins in the Wildcats opening win against the Seahawks. Tucker came back to get a first-period pin over George Katsis for South River.
Pub Date: 12/10/98