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Sooners Drop Road Match to Sun Devils

TEMPE, Ariz. – Oklahoma wrestling competed in its first road match of the season on Friday night against No. 7 Arizona State. The Sooners (1-1, 1-0 Big 12) won three of the last four matches, but were defeated by the Sun Devils, 22-12.

“Arizona State was just tougher than us today at a few weights and it cost us,” head coach Lou Rosselli said. “They wrestled with more intensity and more energy than us early on.”

The 125-pounders got the match started as No. 20 Joey Prata took to the mat against No. 4 Brandon Courtney. Prata held off multiple shots throughout the match but couldn’t connect on any of his own and loses in an 8-3 decision to give the Sun Devils the first points of the contest.

At 133, No. 10 Tony Madrigal competed in one of the four bouts that was a rematch of last year’s dual when he faced off with No. 8 Michael McGee for the second straight season. Madrigal secured the first takedown but dropped the bout via 12-3 major decision.

Jacob Butler, in only his second dual action at 141 pounds, dropped the match in a 13-5 major decision loss to No. 18 Jesse Vasquez. The result gave the Sun Devils a 11-0 lead after three matches.

In the 149-pound bout, No. 18 Mitch Moore squared off with Fresno State transfer No. 7 Kyle Parco. The new Sun Devil wrestler held a 2-1 lead after two periods but used a reversal and a takedown in the third to earn a 7-2 decision over Moore.

Fresh off his 75th career win last weekend in Morgantown, No. 18 Justin Thomas took on No. 4 Jacori Teemer in the second rematch bout of the night. Thomas got the better of Teemer last season, but it was Teemer who came out on top this time, winning via 11-5 decision.

The two teams were docked a point a piece for unsportsmanlike conduct when the two sides got into a shouting match following the conclusion of the bout between Thomas and Teemer.

Rutgers transfer Joe Grello made his debut for Oklahoma in a matchup with No. 7 Anthony Valencia of Arizona State. Grello secured an early takedown in the third period, but could not grab another to tie the score and is defeated via 8-6 decision. It is the second straight season in which Valencia has faced a Sooner making their debut.

The fight Grello showed in his match sparked some positive momentum for the Sooners, who got their first points of the night thanks to a 14-1 major decision victory by Anthony Mantanona over ASU’s Zane Coleman. Mantanona wasted no time and jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the first period thanks to a couple takedowns and a near-fall. He would secure riding time points and another takedown in the third period to earn four points for the Sooners.

Three was only one match that didn’t go the distance on Friday night, and that was the 184-pound bout between No. 22 Darrien Roberts and Arizona State’s Josh Nummer. Roberts used a crafty move to complete the pin (4:10) in the back half of the second period for his third career win via fall.

The pin gave the Sooners six points and meant there was plenty to fight for in the final two matches with Oklahoma trailing 20-10.

In the third rematch of the night, No. 6 Jake Woodley found himself in another exciting match with No. 7 Kordell Norfleet. The two needed extra periods to decide their bout last season, but Woodley made sure that wasn’t necessary this time around. The All American Woodley fought for a late third period takedown to earn a 5-3 decision victory over Norfleet.

“We had a lot better fight in the last couple of matches, but we need to stay focused for the entire match in order to win,” said Rosselli. “I am happy with (Jake) Woodley, he finds ways to win in tough situations.”

At heavyweight, the fourth and final rematch was between No. 19 Josh Heindselman and No. 4 Cohlton Schultz. The Arizona State man got three penalty points and came away with a 4-1 victory over Heindselman and helped Sun Devils finish off the 22-21 victory.

The Sooners won’t have to wait long to try and get back in the win column, as they continue their road trip with a match against Northern Colorado on Sunday in Greeley.

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