The cavalry came too late for Francis Scott Key.
Despite a spirited charge by the visiting Eagles in the upper weights, fifth-ranked South Carroll swept the first eight weight classes and cruised to a 50-21 victory in Winfield last night.
Francis Scott Key won four of the last five bouts, but could not overcome the Cavaliers' lead.
"Our inexperience showed," said Eagles coach Bill Hyson, who started three freshmen and two sophomores in the first six weight classes. "South Carroll has a lot of experience, and that came through for them."
South Carroll coach Pete Olson hedged on whether his squad put together a strong performance.
"The layoff we had has impacted our sharpness," Olson said, noting that the Cavaliers had only one day of practice. "There were certain matches where I felt we never got on track."
Both teams entered the evening missing important wrestlers. Sophomore 119-pounder Nate Yinger, a county and regional champion at 103 for Francis Scott Key last season, quit the team last week.
For South Carroll, senior 145-pounder Kevin Clark also quit the team last week, citing "personal conflicts," Olson said.
After pins by Cavaliers freshman Everett Thrift (103) and sophomore Ron Lewis (112), junior Kellen Weber -- who originally thought he was going to meet Yinger -- scored a 19-4 technical fall against freshman Josh Kellemen, who came in with a 13-4 record for the Eagles.
The marquee match of the night pitted state qualifier and senior Brian Owings of Francis Scott Key against county and regional champ Dan Patterson of South Carroll.
Tied at two in the third period, Patterson locked Owings into a cradle and scored three near-fall points to emerge with a 5-2 decision.
"I never felt like I had control of the match," Patterson said. "But I knew that once I got the lead, I could hold it because there wasn't much time left."
The Cavaliers continued to roll, getting pins from sophomore Buddy Olson (130), and juniors Josh Wampler (135), Travis Mohlhenrich (140) and Bryan Hamper (145) to take an insurmountable 44-0 lead.
Francis Scott Key senior Greg Frech got a scare in his heavyweight bout when Cavaliers sophomore Jake Creech slipped a headlock onto Frech and nearly decked him in the first period.
But Frech, who is ranked second among heavyweights in the West region, regained his composure and shouldered Creech to the mat at the 2: 37 mark.
"It woke me up," Frech said of nearly getting pinned. "I used it as fire inside to pin him."
Francis Scott Key dropped to 4-5-1 overall and 1-2 in the county.
With the win, the Cavaliers (11-2 overall) remained undefeated in the county and will meet 8-3 Westminster, which also owns an unblemished record against county opponents, tomorrow for the county championship.