Harford Tech wrestling coach Gary Siler can thank a doctor in Bel Air and a swift-moving Eric King for last night's thrilling 30-25 victory at 14th-ranked Fallston before about 300 screaming fans.
The doctor wrote a note that allowed 171-pound wrestler Dan Culver to compete and win a key bout by pin despite an angry rash on his back thought initially to be ringworm.
King (112) clinched the margin of victory with his takedown with no time left, giving him a controversial 12-10 decision over Fallston's Greg Solin that gave Harford Tech the decisive three points.
"I call it Ericaerobics. I know what I can do, and I move fast," said King, who darts around the mat nearly to the point of exhaustion. "I guess my metabolism is so high, so I'm just going all the time. I think about slowing down, but my body's like my mind: There's no slow, only fast."
With the win, Harford Tech (8-1, 6-0) clinched at least a tie for its third straight Harford County dual-meet crown. Fallston coach Andy Amasia lamented a few close bouts, and what he felt was a wrong call in the 112-pound bout.
"Time was out, and everybody knows it. In my opinion, all he had to do was ask the table, and anything they said, I'd have gone along with," Amasia said of King's victory. "They won the last match if you count that as a win. If time was out, and we're still wrestling, I'm not sure he wins it."
The Cobras led 12-0 after decisions by Mike Taylor (119), Brad Dreyer (125) and Tom Conlon (130). Fallston (18-2, 3-2) made it 12-3 after Nathan Bachman (135) avenged a loss to county champion Dan Beury by taking a 13-7 decision.
Two-time county champion James Brown (140) of Harford Tech scored another decision that put the Cobras up 15-3, but a pin by Corey Bafford (160) followed decisions by Bryan Hughes (145) and Brennan Kiel (152) to give the Cougars their first lead at 16-15.
That set up Culver, who weighs only 160. He came from behind to pin his much larger opponent, Tim Neary, in 5:14, giving the Cobras a 21-16 lead with four bouts left.
"He was real strong, but I wanted it real bad," said Culver, who was told by the referee that he couldn't wrestle without a doctor's permission. So his father drove him 20 minutes round trip to nearby Bel Air.
In the final three bouts, the Cobras got a pin by Dave Covert (189), and Fallston got a pin by Jeff Ramsey (heavyweight) and a decision by Andrew Undem (103) on an overtime takedown.