The suspense hardly matched the pre-match buildup.
Two of South Jersey's top wrestling teams met at Camden Catholic last night in a much-anticipated, early-season duel. But it was Eastern that seized control early behind several close decisions in a 37-22 whipping of the Irish.
Bob Price, a 215-pounder, and Robert Deutsch (103) posted overtime decisions and Bob Bradis (189) earned a clutch victory as the Vikings raced to a 27-6 bulge and improved to 2-0.
"I definitely think we took this very personally," said Price, a senior. "It was a No. 1 vs. a No. 2, and we all came in very pumped up.
"We just knew if we wrestled our hardest, we'd win."
The match turned quickly for Eastern at 171 pounds, after Daymien Scott pinned Wayne Young in 5 minutes, 47 seconds, giving the Vikings a 12-6 lead.
Bradis followed with a 7-6 decision over Bill Cornely and Price outlasted Mike Leonetti, 3-1, in overtime to make it 18-6.
After Eastern's Kris Deichert pinned Steve O'Neil in 1:12 at heavyweight, Robert Deutsch won another overtime decision, 4-2, over Matt Sausman to raise the margin to 27-6.
"I could tell just by the way he was looking that he [Leonetti] was done," Price said of his win. "This is a big boost for our confidence, but we still need a lot of work. It's just the beginning."
The Irish made a small run in the lower weights on a decision by Matt O'Donnell (112), a major decision by James Olivo (119), and a hard-fought 3-2 win by Taylor Walsh over Mark Maloney at 125.
But Eastern's Mike Crowley (130) responded with an 11-4 decision over Trey Patacky and Hank Stinson clinched it with an 11-1 major over Justin Danfield at 135.
Also for the Vikings, 152-pounder Preston Keiffer had a 27-second fall over Kevin Walker to start the match, and David Newcomer added a decision at 140.
EASTERN 37, CAMDEN CATHOLIC 22
152: Preston Keiffer, E, pin Kevin Walker, :27;
: Dakota Moore, C, pin Michael Brueninghaus, 1:20;
: Daymien Scott, E, pin Wayne Young, 5:47;
: Bob Bradis, E, dec. Bill Cornely, 7-6;
: Bob Price, E, dec. Mike Leonetti, 3-1 (OT);
: Kris Deichert, E, pin Steve O'Neil, 1:12;
: Robert Deutsch, E, dec. Matt Sausman, 4-2 (OT);
: Matt O'Donnell, C, dec. Louis Mueller, 8-3;
: James Olivo, C, dec. Scooter Golden, Eastern, 13-4;
Taylor Walsh, C, dec. Mark Maloney, Eastern, 3-2;
: Mike Crowley, E, dec. Trey Patacky, 11-4;
Hank Stinson, E, dec. Justin Danfield, 11-1;
: David Newcomer, C, dec. Alan Dyer, 8-3;
: Jackson Brady, C, forfeit.