Staff Photo: John Bohn Collins Hill wrestler Griffin Riley has his eyes blocked by head gear straps, while competing against Camden county's Niko Kolgaklin in the 138 lbs weight class match of the State Duals wrestling tournament held in Macon, Saturday. Camden's Kolgaklin won the match.
MACON -- It took more than three years, but Collins Hill finally met its match on the wrestling mat.
The Eagles overcame a 12-point deficit, but Camden won the final match to secure the 28-27 victory and the Class AAAAA dual state title.
"Everyone has been saying how good Camden is," Collins Hill coach Josh Stephen said. "There's people throwing parades. You've got to get better from this and now we have to come back and win traditional."
The Wildcats' victory snapped Collins Hill's streak of four straight state championships.
It's the first time Collins Hill (17-2) has lost a dual to a Georgia team since November 2008 when Pope beat the Eagles 33-29 in the season opener.
Camden won the final bout to tie the match 27-27. The tie breaker was number of pins decide the winner.
Camden's win was revenge from last year's state finals that Collins Hill won 42-21. Since then the Wildcats have gained ground on the Eagles.
Camden County finished ahead of Collins Hill at the Cougar Invitational, a traditional style tournament, last month in Florida. That sparked debate across the state that Collins Hill was on the decline.
That brought more anticipation into Saturday's final between the two teams.
Collins Hill defeated Brookwood 62-9 in the Friday's opening round and Lowndes 68-9 in the quarterfinals. The Eagles used a 49-23 victory over North Forsyth to reach the finals.
After Griffin Riley lost a close match to Niko Kolgaklis in the final seconds of the 138-pound match to start the dual, Collins Hill came back with a pair of wins.
Two-time state runner-up Spencer Rickman got a first-period pin and Anthony Codella followed with a 6-0 win to give the Eagles a 9-3 lead.
Camden's Austin Trott, a two-time state champion, followed with a third-period pin to tie the match.
Collins Hill's Andrew Krawulski won by decision, but Camden regained the lead with four straight wins. Defending state champion Gray Jones had a pin at 195 pounds and Camden led 24-12 after nine matches.
Defending state champion Sean Russell finally snapped Collins Hill's losing skid with a 9-3 victory. Ryan Millhof had a technical fall and Drew Ferguson-Mitchell added a major decision to tie the match 24-24 with two bouts left.
Steven Bradtmueller had a 1-0 decision to give Collins Hill its first lead since the beginning of the match.
Camden's Perry Morgan Jared used a 4-1 victory over John Bradtmueller to tie the match at 27 and Camden won the title on criteria.
"It's a tough pill to swallow to lose in a tie," Stephen said.
Archer lost to Camden 44-18 in the semifinals and came back to beat Lowndes 34-27 and then North Forsyth in the consolation finals 39-25.
After keeping the match close in the middleweights, Tigers (32-4) used five straight pins to lock up the win.
"I knew we were stronger in the upper weights," Archer coach Tom Beuglas said. "I knew it would be tough, but I'm happy to get third."