Derrick Dawson's 8-0 decision over Arundel's Steve Gills at 189 pounds clinched a 32-21 victory for visiting Old Mill in a battle of state champs in a gym jam-packed by more than 2,000 in Gambrills last night.
Old Mill's 112-pound Dwayne Jones scored a 15-13 upset of sixth-ranked Shannon Webber early on, and teammate Dave Kim won a 3-2 heavyweight upset over third-ranked Jeff Blachly to cap off the victory for Old Mill (13-0), ranked No. 2 by The Sun and No. 3 in the state.
Old Mill is defending Anne Arundel County, region and state duals champ, and Arundel, ranked No. 3 in The Sun and No. 4 in the state, won all three of those titles in the open tournament format.
"We were tough -- showed a lot of heart throughout, top to bottom," said first-year Old Mill coach Vern Hines, who replaced legendary Mike Hampe, winner of a record seven state titles. "We were fit, physical, and not one wrestler didn't give it every bit of everything he had."
Dawson put the match away mathematically, 29-21, but quickly deflected credit to his teammates.
"When it was over, I looked at the crowd, and everyone on our side was standing, cheering me," said Dawson. "But a lot of other guys did their job in a great win."
The Patriots clinched their second straight Anne Arundel County dual-meet crown, their ninth win in the last 11 dual meetings with Arundel (12-1) and the No. 1 seed and the right to play host to Wednesday's Class 3A-4A dual meet regionals.
Old Mill led 25-18 with three bouts left after getting a 17-5 major decision from Antoine Cooksey (160), who scored seven takedowns on Arundel's Mark Tribett and nearly pinned him at the buzzer.
Arundel's heavily-favored Matt Neidig (171) made it 25-21 with his 6-0 decision (worth three team points) over Dave Fitzpatrick, who was nearly disqualified for stalling but fought bravely against Neidig's far half-nelson over the final 90 seconds.
Old Mill took five of the first six bouts to lead 21-3, including pins by two-time state champ Chris Combs (125) and Eric Hill (135). Combs (21-2, 18 pins) led 9-1 before finishing off Ryan Lowder and Hill led 12-2 before pinning Johnny Sines.
In the previous bouts, Old Mill's Stuart Cohen (103) won 12-6 over George Kotsis; Jones built a 10-2 lead in the first minute against Webber, and Adam DeCosmo (119) survived nearly being pinned to win 12-10 over Mike Money on a takedown 20 seconds into overtime.
Arundel won four of the next five bouts from 130-152, however, to come within 21-18, capped by a fall in 1: 25 by Dan Nucci (152) over Old Mill's Dan Connolly, who was headlocked tightly at mat's edge.
Arundel's state runner-up Pat Ortman (130) won a featured bout, 7-2, over Old Mill's sixth-ranked Josh Liston, scoring five nearfall points. County champ Pat Crouse (140) flattened James Fleming in a cradle at 4: 59, and Greg Klingler (145) countered a pinning combination by Dave Hicks to go up 2-0 in an eventual a 2-1 win.
"We went hard. We're in shape. We were physical, but without our starting 135 maybe off a little mentally," said Ortman. "We'll see what happens on Wednesday."
Pub Date: 2/06/99