Williamsport began the night by beating Boonsboro, 45-36. After South followed with a more convincing 66-18 victory over the Warriors, the Rebels looked like they might be able to match their win total from last season (two) on the first night of this one.
"I knew how we matched up, and I knew we were in for a battle," South coach Ralph Stottlemyer said of the showdown with Williamsport. "A couple of matches going either way was going to make it."
All 14 bouts between the Wildcats and Rebels were decided by pins, with Williamsport taking eight of them.
"Wow. You don't get that much," Stottlemyer said. "But it's early in the season and you have a lot of people making a lot of mistakes."
The Wildcats shot out to a 24-0 lead on pins by Todd Judd (130), Jesse Duvall (135), Codi Trumpower (140) and Jimmy Fiorita (145).
"Being a captain, I had to go out and get the momentum going," said Judd, who pinned Ian Anderson in 23 seconds. "I knew if I could do it, everyone else would know that they could do it. (Williamsport coach Mike Rechtorovic) asked me to go out there and set an example."
Trumpower, who was tied 7-7 with Zach Stottlemyer after two periods, had to go to the third period to follow it in a key bout.
Down 24-0, South answered with consecutive first-period pins by Jake Hockensmith (152), Ben Benner (160) and Jovann Carter (171) to make it 24-18.
Williamsport's Drew Williams pinned Zeke Ricketts in 3:16 at 189 to give the Wildcats' lead a little more padding at 30-18.
"Codi Trumpower and Drew Williams at 140 and 189 were the two biggest pins," Rechtorovic said. "Codi gave us a lot of momentum and then Drew stopped the bleeding."
South's Jeremy Gross (215) and Williamsport's Rob Shawley (275) each scored a pin, before South's Dane Devin (103) and Derick Boerstler (112) won back-to-back to even the score at 36-36.
Williamsport took the lead for good in the next-to-last bout at 119 as Earl Neville got the job done in 3:13 against Mike Hockensmith.
"The way we wrestled against Boonsboro, I'm just happy to get out of here with a win against South High," Rechtorovic said. "They're both vastly improved teams."
"I think we're going to surprise a lot of people," Ralph Stottlemyer said.
Jake Hockensmith, Carter, Gross and Devin each had two pins for South, while Judd and Smith each had two for Williamsport.
Bret Nalley (135) and Sam McLernon (160) each had two pins for Boonsboro, which forfeited at five weight classes in each match. The Warriors won six of the nine contested bouts against Williamsport and three of the nine against South.