Old Mill has its big visit to No. 3 Arundel on Friday, but the No. 2 Patriots first had some work to put in last night at Severna Park.
It wasn't easy.
The host Falcons pushed them to the limit and the Patriots needed a tight 2-1 decision from Derrick Dawson over Dan Seger at the 189-pound class to secure a 38-25 win.
Was it just a warm-up for the Arundel match? Not a chance, said Old Mill first-year coach Vern Hines, whose Patriots improved to 12-0 on the season.
"Severna Park isn't a tune-up for anyone," said Hines. "We were wrestling a very good Severna Park team and getting ready to wrestle a great team on Friday."
The test couldn't have come at a better time for the Patriots, who fell behind 13-0 early before two-time state champ Chris Combs got things started with a second-period pin over Dan Horne at 125.
"Severna Park is an excellent team and they wrestled us really tough," said Combs. "We feel around 119 is where the heart of our lineup starts. Tonight, my job was to get things started."
With Combs setting the tone, Adam DeCosmo, James Fleming and Dave Hicks followed suit.
DeCosmo scored a 17-2 technical fall over Blake Becker at 130; Fleming (140) and Hicks (145) both got pins with another six points coming by way of a Severna Park forfeit at 135, providing the Patriots with a 29-13 lead.
The Falcons were far from through, though, getting back in the match starting with Matt Negrete's tough 5-3 decision over Dan Connelly at 152. Matt Appleton followed with a pin over Paul Gardner at 160, where starter Tony Cooksey was out of the lineup with an injury.
When Ryan Faucheux came away with a 9-5 decision over Dave Fitzpatrick at 171, the Patriots' lead was down to 29-25.
Enter Dawson, who, after two scoreless periods against Seger, got an early escape in the third period and was awarded another point after Seger was called for stalling. Leading 2-1, Dawson held his ground the last 15 seconds with Seger unsuccessfully trying to shoot.
Old Mill heavyweight Dave Kim closed it out with a second-period pin over Nick DeAngelis.
The Patriots knew they were in a battle and it left Hines ecstatic.
"It was exciting and came right down to the end," he said. "This will benefit us tremendously as we get ready for Arundel. Every kid wrestled hard and it gets us pumped up."
Severna Park coach Ralph Toomey said the match also will help his Falcons as they try to qualify for the dual meet regionals. They need wins over Dulaney and Northeast in a tri-match on Friday to advance.
"This will get us more focused because we see how close we are. This was good to keep it close. I was very proud how we wrestled," he said.
Dan Fitzgerald (112) scored a technical fall and Soci Mamalis (103) and Steve McManamay (119) earned major decisions to get the Falcons off to a 13-0 start.
Pub Date: 2/03/99